Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital is the first UK NHS trust to adopt Medtronic’s new Hugo Robotic-assisted Surgery (RAS) system.

Having the largest robotic surgery programme in the country, adding Hugo to the trust’s arsenal gives it seven robots operating across six specialties. The hospital’s other RAS systems include CMR Surgical’s Versius robot, and four of Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci robots.

The use of Hugo involves the surgeon sitting at an open console, which displays a high-definition 3D view and allows them to precisely control the robotic arms and instruments.

Surgical training on the device is delivered by Proximie. Via the platform, surgeons can view live surgeries without the need to be physically present. They can also access recordings of previous surgeries, providing opportunities to develop the necessary expertise to use the system.

The surgical robotics market was worth $8.6 billion in 2022, and by 2030, it is forecast to have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 8% to $15.8 billion.

One of the first patients to benefit from the device was 70-year-old professor of palliative care, Rob George from Honor Oak Park in southeast London, after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and requiring a prostatectomy.

“We carry out the most robotic operations in the NHS with more than 1,500 cases a year,” said Ben Challacombe, clinical lead for robotic surgery at Guy’s and St Thomas’. “Expanding our robotics programme with Hugo allows us to offer the benefits of this technology, including fewer complications and smaller scars, to even more patients.”