The first robotic-assisted gynaecological surgery at Nottingham University Hospitals has taken place.

Consultant gynaeoncologist Jafaru Abu and his team have started using the daVinci robot, which reduces invasiveness of the surgical procedure, resulting in shorter hospital stays.

What would normally take two to three days of hospital recovery would be reduced to just one day.

Mrs Julie Clarkson, 76, of Southwell, had a hysterectomy with the new technology.

She said: “It was quite a shock to be told I needed to have the operation. I didn’t really know what to expect.

“When I woke up from the operation there was virtually no pain. It just felt a little uncomfortable around the incisions if I coughed.

“I am amazed that I haven’t felt what I thought I would feel following a major operation.

“I would like to thank Mr Abu and his team for their skill and care.

“The recovery period has been fine.”

The daVinci robot allows complex surgery to be performed through small incisions using hand and foot controls.

Mr Abu said: “The robot is excellent for minimally invasive surgery in the treatment of early stages of cervical and endometrial cancers.

“It is also useful for fertility preservation surgery for early stages of cervical cancer and for operating on patients with a high BMI.”

'A very significant development'

The team were commended on their performance by Mr Simon Butler-Manual, an expert in the field of gynaecological robotic surgery.

He said: “There is growing medical evidence to show that robotically-assisted surgery is the treatment of choice for many women with gynaecological cancers.

“It will be a very significant development for the women of Nottingham.”

The daVanci robot also has benefits for the surgeon. The operation is performed from a console, reducing the stress of complex surgery and removing shoulder strain.

Mr Abu praised the live 3D images the robot produces during surgery.

He said: “The 3D view of all the anatomy helps preserve vital structures like the nerve supply to the bladder, preventing bladder problems following surgery.”

To be able to operate the surgical tool, surgeons must have 30 hours of simulation training alongside two-day lab training and observations for the first five to ten operations.

Annette Gunn, specialty general manager for obstetrics and gynaecology, said: “This is a great thing for the gynaecological services. Patients will want to come to NUH for their surgery as the procedure reduces the length of stay, aiding quicker recovering time and enabling patients to return to normal activity sooner.”