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2nd March 2015  
Mid Essex Hospitals First in the UK to Perform Robot-Assisted Gastrectomy
Hospital is first in the UK to perform stomach removing procedure using a surgical robot.
The gastric cancer procedure was carried out last month by SurgeonsMr Bruno Lorenzi and Mr Sritharan Kadirkamanathan and their team, and saw their patient discharged in just nine days.
Francis (Frank) Lawson, 77 of Brentwood was the first patient in the UK to undergo the robot-assisted procedure for gastric cancer and said “I can’t fault the treatment, it has been brilliant. Hopefully I’ll be back on the golf course by summer; something I never thought would be possible!”
The 10 hour operation saw surgeons Mr Lorenzi and Mr Kadirkamanathan operating using the robotic surgery system from midday to 10:30pm in the evening.
Mr Kadirkamanathan said: “We have been performing robotic surgery at Broomfield Hospital for more than 5 years. For the first time in UK, we have now started to apply this technology to our cancer patients and we are expecting great results.
“A quick recovery after surgery is the key for helping our patients get back to normal and receive further treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy if necessary.”
Frank’s wife Jane said: “Frank had never been ill until a couple of years ago. He was first treated for lymphoma two years ago but having to have this operation came unexpectedly.”
Frank said: “It was a steep learning curve for us both, we didn’t know what to expect but the support of the surgeons, their team and the nurses was such a huge help.”
“When you’ve never been through something like this before, the team are there for you, they are so supportive and they care about you.”
After retiring from his career as an engineer, Frank worked as a gardener in his local area prior to falling sick. His wife Jane said: “we got lots of calls and messages from the elderly ladies whose gardens Frank used to maintain, asking if he was okay, how long his operation would be, how he’s recovering. He’s a popular man in our area!”
Surgeon Mr Lorenzi said: “Surgery for gastric cancer can be complex and challenging. Here at Broomfield Hospital, I am part of a team of enthusiastic people, together we work to constantly improve our patients care.
“Minimally invasive techniques could lead to better outcomes and quicker recovery after surgery. Frank was discharged just 9 days after his surgery”
Frank and Jane celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on the 1st of May. They had hoped to go on a cruise to celebrate and Franks rapid recovery may see them jetting off quicker than they previously thought.
Speaking of the future of robotic surgery at the Trust, Mr Kadirkamanathan said: “The robot has enormous potential, and the team will continue to work hard to offer the best possible care to our patients.”