A cutting-edge surgical robot used by kidney cancer team at the Royal Free Hospital will be on display at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition next week. 

The team will showcase how robotic surgery and 3D radiological images are allowing surgeons at the Royal Free Hospital to perform more complex and challenging surgery and are saving the lives of patients. Visitors to the exhibition, which starts on 5 July, will be given the chance to operate the robot themselves.

The team, led by urological surgeon Faiz Mumtaz, is one of just 22 selected to exhibit their work.

The da Vinci robot provides a 3D image of the kidney and surrounding tissue via a keyhole and has arms with advanced dexterity akin to the human hand, which allows complex cancer surgery on the kidneys to be carried out. The team has developed software which allows 2D radiological images of the kidney to be transformed into 3D images, which provide a much more accurate picture of the kidney, tumour and its blood vessels.  

Mr Mumtaz said: “This technology allows us to perform more complex surgical procedures and means we are able to preserve more of the healthy kidney tissue when removing tumours.

“It also means more of our patients can have key-hole surgery through smaller incisions, rather than open surgery, which means recovery times will be much shorter.”

Surgeons at the Royal Free Hospital have recently started using a new robot, which has a range of advanced features making it much more user-friendly. The new robot has four arms, compared with the three on the robot that was used previously, is much more dexterous and has a larger viewing panel.

Mr Mumtaz added: “We are thrilled to be showcasing this incredible technology at the Royal Society’s summer exhibition. Visitors will be able to operate one of the surgical robots and can see how we are using cutting edge techniques for the benefit of patients. We also hope to inspire the next generation of surgeons, so we would encourage everyone to come along and find out about the work we are doing at the Royal Free Hospital.”

The Royal Society, which was founded in 1660, is a fellowship of some of the world’s best scientists. The society’s summer exhibition is an annual event, featuring cutting edge science from across the UK.

The exhibition is being held from 5-10 July 2016 at the society’s headquarters near St James’s Park. It is free for all members of the public and between 15,000 and 20,000 attend every year.

For more information please visit the Royal Society's website.


Image: The new robot at the Royal Free Hospital.

Notes to editors

Media contacts: mary.mcconnell2@nhs.net or call 020 7472 6665

About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.

The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver and kidney transplantation, haemophilia, renal care, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, Parkinson's disease, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London. Read 'A bigger trust, a better future'.