Ipswich Hospital has introduced £2.5million of robotic technology that will allow cancer patients to recover faster and reduce the risk of complications.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) has purchased a second DaVinci Xi surgical robot.

The first state-of-the-art robotic technology machine was successfully rolled out at Colchester Hospital in November 2021.

East Anglian Daily Times: The robotic surgery team at Ipswich HospitalThe robotic surgery team at Ipswich Hospital (Image: ESNEFT)

The technology allows surgeons to complete complex cancer operations using minimally-invasive keyhole surgery.

As a result, patients experience very little post-operative pain and are less likely to develop complications such as infections.

Many of the patients will also be able to return home sooner, even 17 hours after the surgery.

To operate using the robot, the surgeon sits in the same room as the patient and looks through an eyepiece, while controlling the machine’s four arms from a console.

East Anglian Daily Times: DaVinci Xi surgical robot has been introduced to Ipswich HospitalDaVinci Xi surgical robot has been introduced to Ipswich Hospital (Image: ESNEFT)

The robotic technology allows surgeons to carry out complex operations using a camera and small incisions with incredible accuracy.

The Ipswich machine will initially be used for bowel cancer cases but will expand to treat cancers within the next few months, after additional surgeons complete their training.

Colorectal surgeon Arshad Malik, who has already performed several operations in Colchester, has carried out three procedures in Ipswich following the launch of the service at the start of September.

He said: “We are delighted that robotic technology has now been introduced at Ipswich, following an extremely successful launch in Colchester.

“As the robot is so precise, we are able to remove an additional layer of lymph nodes and tissues around the cancerous tissues, in turn improving patient outcomes and survival rates for colonic cancer compared to traditional surgery.

“It is also incredibly stable, which makes complex surgery easier and means the surgeon is less tired after a long operation.

“Robotic surgery is set to revolutionise surgical care within next couple of decades, and it’s fantastic that ESNEFT is at the forefront of those advances.

“It is also really exciting for the surgical team to be part of this innovation, which will help us continue providing the highest quality care for our cancer patients which is on a par with centres of excellence in colorectal surgery.”

Feedback from patients who have been treated using the robot in Colchester has been extremely positive.