A HOSPITAL trust has become the first in the region to use a surgical robot to carry out colorectal surgery.

So far, five patients have had robotic colorectal surgery using the £1.3m Da Vinci robot at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, including robotic colorectal resections for cancer.

These procedures are being undertaken by Mr Adnan Sheikh and Mr Colin Harris, both experienced colorectal surgeons within East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust.


The robot was installed by the trust in the theatres at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital in June 2015.

It was the first surgical robot of its kind in North West and is used to carry out prostatectomies, the removal of the prostate gland, for prostate cancer, and the hospital has continued to grow the number of procedures they can carry out using the robot.

Shahid Islam, divisional director for surgery and anaesthetics for the trust, said: “This is a milestone achievement, with the Trust, once again, at the forefront of innovative surgery and is one of only a few across the country offering robotic colorectal surgery.

“It is expected that in the first year of service, 25 patients will reap the benefits from Robotic Colorectal surgery which include a shortened hospital stay, reduced post-operative pain and reduced complications of surgery.

“Due to the precision of the robot, deep pelvic tumours can be operated on in a minimally invasive fashion which would have previously needed extensive surgery.

“At this stage we are focussing on bowel cancer in the pelvis but the use of the robot will continue to develop across the field of colorectal surgery in due course.”

Having the robot has also allowed further development and robotic training of specialist nurses and specialists theatre staff- paving the way to them being mentors and leaders for other hospitals staff in the future.

Colorectal surgery is a field of medicine which deals with repairing the damage caused by disorders in the rectum, anus and colon.