Robot surgeon performs first UK cancer operations

  • 20 July 2012
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Watch the robot surgeon at work

A robot "surgeon" has operated on a cancer patient for the first time at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

The robot, called Da Vinci, is remotely controlled and will help patients with certain types of cancer.

The £2m robot is operated remotely by a surgeon a few feet away who controls the cutting blades through a high-definition 3D microscope.

Da Vinci's "hands" can reach into smaller spaces than humans can, making operations much simpler to perform.

Surgeons at the hospital in Newcastle say they will use Da Vinci to do all sorts of different operations - including heart surgery.

In France robots like this are already used in 50 hospitals.

A French surgeon came to advise the doctors in Newcastle. He said: "This robotic assistance increases the level of technique and the quality of surgery."