NHS FIFE have treated 200 patients using pioneering, Robotic-Assisted Surgery (RAS).

The new technology, which is being used across a range of different surgical specialties including colorectal, gynaecology and urology, was made possible with around £2.2 million in funds from the Scottish Government.

RAS was first introduced in Fife in August 2021 and the DaVinci robotic system that is used by NHS Fife has brought a range of benefits to patients including improved patient safety, faster procedure times and improved patient incomes.

NHS Fife's deputy medical director, Dr Iain MacLeod, said: “We are constantly looking for new and innovative way of improving patient outcomes, and although we are relatively early in our use of this technology, robotics are already supporting us in this aim.

“The technology still relies on the knowledge and expertise of our surgeons, and we are fortunate to have an incredibly skilled and forward-thinking surgical team here in Fife. This technology is allowing our surgeons to work with even greater precision, which we know improves outcomes and facilitates better post-operative recovery."

Experienced laparoscopic surgeons man the DaVinci from inside the theatre and sit next to the patients throughout the surgery. Conventional laparoscopic surgery can be physically-demanding on the surgeons themselves but with RAS, fatigue is reduced considerably which, in turn, minimises the potential for error.

He continued: “As a board, we have a proven track record of embracing new and emerging technologies, and safely introducing new and innovative surgical techniques.

"By adopting robotic-assisted surgery, this allows us not only to improve the care of individual patients, but, over time, will enable us to see more patients through our theatres, which is more important now than perhaps ever before.

“Furthermore, the use of this new technology helps future-proof our services and makes Fife more attractive to prospective surgical staff and trainees."