24 May 2023

A lady from Cambridge has become the first patient in the UK to benefit from thoracic surgery using a robot called Versius, whilst at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Serena Newton had the middle lobe of her right lung removed due to a benign tumour.

This latest technology, by CMR Surgical in Cambridge, allows our surgical team at Royal Papworth to perform even more minimally invasive surgery, improving outcomes and recovery times for patients across the East of England and reducing their length of stay in hospital.

Serena remained in hospital for three nights after her operation before being discharged home and is now back working less than three weeks later.

"I'm glad to have been given this opportunity and I've clearly benefitted from it. Mr Peryt [surgeon] said the pain would be of a lesser degree and recovery would be quicker and I guess I'm testament to that," she explained.

“Thanks to recovery being faster I’m also back at work on a phased return. My colleagues were a little surprised that I wanted to go back already but I’ve felt very comfortable in doing so.

“The patient care at Royal Papworth Hospital has been second-to-none and I’ve been very impressed, right from my pre-assessment to admission day and then from the day of the surgery through to now” she added.

Smaller than previous surgical robots, Versius also has a portable design, meaning it can be moved between different theatres and potentially used for different specialties, such as transplantation.

Mr Adam Peryt, Consultant Thoracic Surgeon and Clinical Lead for Thoracic Surgery at Royal Papworth Hospital carried out the operation.

He added: "One of the benefits of this cutting-edge robotic technology is its minimally invasive approach, which leads to shortened recovery times for our patients. It's therefore fantastic and very rewarding to hear that Serena is doing really well after her surgery and has already gone back to work."

“Using the Versius robot is very exciting for us and completely different to what we’ve done in the past. As a surgeon we see everything in 3D which is new, so it really feels like you’re inside the chest.

“We look forward to using this technology to benefit more patients who require lung surgery from across the East of England and beyond.”

Mark Slack, Chief Medical Officer at CMR Surgical, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with the world-class surgeons and surgical teams at Royal Papworth as the first to use Versius in thoracic surgery in the UK.

“Versius was designed to make the benefits of minimal access surgery available to more patients around the world, and we’re thrilled that thoracic patients in the UK will now be able to access to this type of treatment.

“Versius is well-suited to thoracic surgery as it allows optimal access through the rib cage, and the small fully-wristed instruments can work precisely in the thoracic cavity.

“We look forward to working with Royal Papworth on bringing the benefits of this technology to as many patients as possible.”