Hospital celebrates first robot-guided knee surgery

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has carried out its first robotic-assisted total knee replacement operation at the West Middlesex University Hospital.

Part of a three month trial, the results of the new procedure will be monitored to see how they compare to existing techniques to find out whether the new procedure will get patients back on their feet sooner.

Dr Arjuna Imbuldeniya, consultant surgeon in Trauma and Orthopaedics, performed the successful operation on a 77-year-old patient on 21 February. Using a mini semi-active robotic burr, the new surgery enables surgeons to carry out more accurate and effective knee replacements with minimal invasion, speeding up recovery time, reducing post-operative pain and increasing the longevity of the implants.

Imbuldeniya said: “Total knee replacement surgery globally has an 80 per cent satisfaction rate amongst patients. There is a growing consensus that utilising computer and robotic technology to help perform bespoke and precise placement of the implants to 0.1 of a millimetre or degree, might help us achieve excellent results in more of our patients. Computer and robotic assisted surgery is very exciting, both for me using it and for the patients who will benefit from the latest technology.

“When I first qualified as a surgeon, patients typically took a week to a week and a half to get back on their feet after having a knee replacement. This has come down to just few days recently, and the robotic technology will help patients get home even faster—as soon as a day or two after the operation. Another key benefit is that by being so precise with a knee replacement, it will last much longer and can be tailored to the unique anatomy of each patient. This is so important now as we see younger and younger people requiring this procedure.”

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