February 18, 2022 6.00 am

First patient has robotic assisted surgery in Lincolnshire

Ken had high praise for the hospital staff

A 69-year-old man from the Lincolnshire village of Ancaster has become the first patient in the county to have robotic assisted surgery.

An investment of more than £3.2 million by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust brought the technology to the county to offer more choice for urology and colorectal cancer patients as they undergo their treatment.

Ken Watson underwent a robotic radical prostatectomy on Monday, February 14 as part of his treatment for prostate cancer at Lincoln County Hospital.

The procedure was carried out by Consultant Urologist Aris Alevizopoulos. He was sat at a special console connected to a robot which is designed to mimic the surgeon’s hand movements, enabling them to perform incredibly delicate procedures through the smallest of incisions.

Speaking the morning after his surgery, Ken said: “It’s fantastic to have everything here in Lincolnshire. I could have gone to Leicester to have my procedure but it’s been even better to come to Lincoln.

“All of the staff here have been absolutely brilliant from the very start. Everything that I have needed, all of my appointments and everything, have all been done here in Lincolnshire. I have not had to travel out of the county, which has been so much better for my wife and I.

“It has really reduced the amount of stress and worry, knowing that we are going to our local hospitals and yet still having state-of-the-art surgery and the best care. I am a little bit sore, but everything has gone really well and I am so grateful.”

Ken first went to his GP in September 2021 with symptoms including lower abdominal pain and backache. He had blood tests and a scan, followed shortly by a biopsy, before being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Consultant Urologist Aris Alevizopoulos (left) with Ken Watson (right) before the surgery. | Photo: ULHT

Consultant Urologist Aris Alevizopoulos is the lead clinician for Lincolnshire’s new robotic surgery system.

Up until now, Mr Alevizopoulos has been performing robot-assisted procedures for cancer patients in Leicester General Hospital, as part of the East Mercia Urology Alliance with ULHT and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

The new robotic surgery system will also be used for clinical teaching and learning opportunities in the future.

Mr Alevizopoulos said: “It is a privilege to care for Mr Watson and to undertake the first surgery of this kind in Lincolnshire. We offer him our best wishes as he continues his treatment and recovery.

“Having this system in the county will make a real difference to patients like Mr Watson as it has a number of benefits.

“The robotic assisted procedure is less invasive, which comes with a reduced risk of surgical complications, meaning those having surgery will be expected to go home earlier and have a faster recovery.

“There has previously been no such system in Lincolnshire and our patients were travelling out of the county for their procedures. We can now offer people all of their care much closer to home and reduce the time they are waiting for their procedures.”