UCLH trains next generation of robotic surgeons 

08/03/2012 00:00 

The first robotic training centre in the UK has opened at the University College Hospital (UCH) with plans to offer pioneering specialist training to healthcare professionals from all around the world.

From l-r: Professor Malcolm Grant, UCL President and Provost, Ms Richa Sethia, drector of the

From l-r: Prof Malcolm Grant, UCL President and Provost, Ms Richa Sethia, director of the of the N Sethia Group Ltd, Prof Tony Mundy, medical director, and Prof John Kelly, director, Chitra Sethia Centre for Robotics and MAS and UCLH Professor of Uro-Oncology

The Chitra Sethia Centre for Robotics and Minimal Access Surgery, which opened last week at the UCH Education Centre, has installed robotic surgical systems to enable regular and flexible training opportunities in cutting edge robotic and laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery.

In pride of place is the latest ‘Da Vinci’ robot system, installed to conduct operations at UCH only last year and now also installed in the Education Centre to help train the next generation of surgeons.

The robotics system is the most up-to-date technology and was introduced under the expert guidance of uro-oncology surgeon Professor John Kelly as part of the new robotic surgery programme at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH).

Professor Kelly, also Director of the Chitra Sethia Centre for Robotics and MAS, said the Da Vinci system was hugely exciting. “The system provides the surgeon with a much greater movement than the human wrist is capable of. As a surgeon, you can see the instruments and tissue in 3D and highly magnified. The movements are very controlled and precise and of course we want to see this translate as improved outcomes for our patients.”

The Centre also has advanced keyhole surgery systems and will essentially provide training to surgeons and nursing teams in urology, gynaecology, ENT (ear, nose and throat) and general surgery. In addition to providing training to senior healthcare professionals, the Centre will also expose UCL medical students to these state of the art surgical systems, giving them the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of important advances in surgical practice early in their careers.

Professor Tony Mundy, UCLH medical director, said everyone was extremely proud of the achievements of the UCH Education Centre in training the next generation of healthcare professionals locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

The new training centre is supported by the N Sethia Foundation, a UK-registered charity founded in August 1995 to enable medical research, respond to disaster appeals, celebrate the Hindu religion, promote youth activities and help secure Britain’s heritage.

“Philanthropic gifts by organisations such as the N Sethia Foundation make fundamental differences to people’s lives,” says Professor Malcolm Grant, UCL President and Provost. “Through our academic health science partnership, UCL and UCLH are working together to ensure that academic endeavour improves training and patient care in the exciting area of minimal access robotic surgery.”

There are plans to open the Centre to the public on set days so as to educate public perception of robotic surgical systems.


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