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State-of-the-art Surgical Robot at Royal Gwent Hospital to Revolutionise Surgical Care in Gwent

The Royal Gwent Hospital’s Urology team has this week successfully completed their first procedure using a brand-new cutting-edge Surgical Robot, allowing their first patient to return home after just ten hours.

Undertaking their first robotic-assisted prostatectomy on 4th June 2024, Gwent’s Urology Surgeons are now able to complete intricate procedures with unparalleled precision and control using this minimally-invasive, revolutionary technology - known as the Da Vinci Surgical System.

Featuring robotic arms equipped with specialized instruments and a high-definition camera, the equipment provides magnified 3D views of the surgical area to enhance the accuracy of delicate surgical procedures, allowing the surgeon to operate the system remotely. As a result, the minimal trauma to surrounding tissues allows faster recovery times, reduced postoperative pain, and improved outcomes for patients.

The new equipment will also allow the Health Board to provide care closer to Gwent patients’ homes, as they will no longer be required to travel to Cardiff to undergo their procedure, as per previous arrangements. This is also the case for Gwent’s Urology surgeons, who were undertaking their robotic-assisted procedures in Cardiff up until the robot’s arrival in Gwent.


Jim Wilson, Consultant Surgeon for Urology at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said:

“We’ve pushed hard to get the robot here in Gwent so that we can deliver excellence of service and so patients can have their surgery locally. It’s the machine that’s most used in the UK, US and Europe and allows very fine instrument control within someone’s body without needing a big cut.

“This will allow us to do day-case procedures for prostatectomy – normally that would take a 2–3 day inpatient stay - so we’re getting people home the same day. For the patient, this basically means a lot less time in hospital and hopefully a lot more time enjoying themselves and recuperating from the operation in an easy way.

“It’s very good to see patients being able to move and getting up and about quickly- our first patient was able to return home just 10 hours after their procedure.”


The robot’s first procedure at the Royal Gwent Hospital comes after weeks of extensive training for Urology staff, as well as the addition of a highly-specialised sanitisation machine at The Grange University Hospital’s Sterilisation and Decontamination Unit (HSDU) to cater for the Da Vinci robot’s sanitisation needs.

Craig Gane, Operational Decontamination Manager at The Grange University Hospital, said:

“As this equipment is so specialised, it must undergo a specific decontamination process that can’t be provided at the Royal Gwent Hospital’s HSDU. After working together with our Urology colleagues to find the best solution for this, we were able to arrange for the robot’s instruments to be decontaminated at The Grange University Hospital’s HSDU, where we secured an additional sterilisation washer that could undertake specialist robotic cycles, installed a specialised DaVinci Robotics rack for ultrasonics and washer disinfectors, and fitted a cascade filtration system to meet water quality requirements.”

“It brings me great pride to see how our teams have worked together to overcome these barriers. We are delighted to have played a part in securing this fantastic new equipment to improve the experience of our patients.”


David Marante, Vice President of Intuitive UK & Ireland, the makers of the da Vinci Xi surgical system, said:  

We’re delighted to be collaborating with the surgeons and care teams at Royal Gwent Hospital as they begin setting up and expanding their da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery programme, so that more patients across Wales can access the benefits of minimally invasive surgery closer to home.

“At Intuitive, we’re committed to supporting hospitals to harness our technology ecosystem, training and services to deliver improved patient outcomes to help increase productivity and efficiencies, so that more patients can be treated with minimally invasive surgery, with a lower total cost to treat.”


Although prostatectomy procedures will be the robot’s initial main focus, the Health Board hopes to develop robotic surgery within other specialties in the near future.