Versius surgical robot joins Manchester Royal Infirmary

Surgeons at Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) are amongst the first in Europe to introduce robot technology to undertake surgery.

Versius surgical robot
Versius will initially be used to perform colorectal cancer surgery (Image: CMR Surgical )

Dubbed Versius, the surgical robot is the first of its kind to be used at the hospital to perform minimal access surgery (keyhole) for a range of colorectal procedures.

How the Versius robot could bring keyhole surgery to the masses

The technology is expected to benefit patients at the MRI by reducing their length of stay and improving recovery time, as well as making the procedure less strenuous on the surgeon.

The MRI is the third hospital in the UK to embark on the surgical robotic programme using Versius, which has been designed and manufactured by CMR Surgical.

In a statement, Mark Slack, Chief Medical Officer at CMR Surgical said: “A main goal when we designed Versius was that we wanted to significantly widen access to minimal access surgery. The introduction of Versius at Manchester Royal Infirmary is a key part of that journey.

“The fact that this leading teaching hospital has never had a surgical robot highlights the need for a new approach to surgical robotics and reinforces the value of the defining features of Versius – its portability, versatility and its cost-effectiveness. These are attributes that we believe will open the door to more minimal access surgery across the world improving outcomes for patients, surgeons and hospitals.”

The robot has multiple arms that are controlled by surgeons using a remote-control device connected to a screen in the operating theatre. The screen gives doctors a precise view of their movements by displaying the part of the body they are operating on.

Dr Jon Simpson, Medical Director at Manchester Royal Infirmary said: “At MFT we are constantly trying to innovate with patient-centred treatments and the surgical robot will enable our surgeons to continue to deliver world-leading surgical training and care. Using robotic minimal access surgery more frequently will play an important role in this and Versius will be a critical tool for our surgical teams moving forward.”

Versius is designed to be easily moved between operating theatres and takes approximately 15 minutes to set up. This allows it to be used frequently, with one robot capable of performing hundreds of operations each year. At Manchester Royal Infirmary, it is estimated that this could equate to hundreds of bed days freed up each year.