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Wednesday 21 August 2019
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Robotic Colorectal Surgery

The da Vinci Surgical system
The da Vinci Surgical system

The Birmingham BowelClinic explains the benefits of da Vinci Surgical System for delivering robotic colorectal surgery.

Robotic surgery for the prostate is practised widely in the USA and is now becoming more widespread in the UK. Robotic surgery for colorectal disease has become more common in South Korea, USA and Singapore as well as in several European centres in Germany, Italy, France and Spain. There are very few centres using the robot for colorectal surgery in the UK.


The da Vinci Surgical system

The da Vinci Surgical system is the equipment that is currently used worldwide. The da Vinci surgical system was developed to overcome the shortcomings of conventional laparoscopic  (key hole) surgery. With conventional laparoscopic surgery the camera is not fixed, the view is in only 2 dimensions. The instruments used have only a limited range of movements. Precise dissection is more difficult, because of instrument length and natural surgeon tremor.


Utilising the latest in surgical and robotics technologies the da Vinci system enables the surgeon is to operate through a few small incisions. The magnified 3D high-definition vision system and tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist allows the surgeon to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. The surgeon is 100% in control the using the da Vinci system which translates his or her hand movements into smaller, more, precise movements of the instruments inside the body. Finally by controlling the instruments in a seated position from a console, the surgeons are themselves  less likely to suffer the back, neck or shoulder problems that are associated with longer conventional open or laparoscopic procedures.

The benefits of robotic surgery

The da Vinci Surgical System  is beneficial for performing routine and complex surgery.


In summary the advantages of the  da Vinci  Surgical System over conventional laparoscopic surgery are:


  • 3-dimensional views with 10-fold magnification
  • A stable camera
  • Stable operating
  • Motion scaling allows tremor free movements
  • Articulating instruments - endowrist
  • High precision suturing
  • Excellent ergonomics


The Queen Elizabeth Hospital acquired its first da Vinci Surgical System in late 2013.

Tariq Ismail and Simon Radley are the first colorectal surgeons to complete training. The intensive training program involved on line modules, console simulation training, case observations in UK and Italy and hands on courses in Strasburg, Paris and Belgium to allow them to become trained da Vinici console surgeons. The training was completed by Tariq and Simon performing ‘live” procedures themselves under direct supervision of an experienced surgical mentor from the UK or Europe coming to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.


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About The Birmingham Bowel Clinic

The Birmingham Bowel Clinic is the first private centre of excellence for managing bowel conditions in the West Midlands. Birmingham Bowel Clinic has recruited a team of highly qualified specialists to provide a comprehensive and integrated service with a multidisciplinary approach to the management of bowel conditions.

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