Robot assisted surgery makes its debut at Welsh hospital

18th April 2017
Posted By : Joe Bush
Robot assisted surgery makes its debut at Welsh hospital

A robotic assisted stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) neurosurgery procedure has been successfully completed at the University Hospital of Wales with help from engineering and scientific technology company Renishaw. This landmark procedure, which identified the source for epileptic seizures, coincided with BioWales, an annual conference, which celebrates Wales’ position as a global pioneer in the life science sector. 


Andrea Richards, Directorate Manager for Neurosciences at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: “This is the first neurosurgical procedure to be carried out with robotic assistance in Wales. We are pleased that the collaboration between clinical services, the BRAIN Unit and Renishaw has enabled a number of improvements to be made to patient care. Neurosurgical patients will now spend less time in the operating theatre, have a reduced risk of infection and benefit from improved surgical outcomes.”

Renishaw’s neuromate stereotactic robot assisted surgeon Professor William Gray during the SEEG case, a procedure which uses intracerebral electrodes to measure electrical signals. The aim of the surgery was to identify which region of the brain was acting as a source for epileptic seizures. With the neuromate robot, Gray was able to quickly and accurately identify the epileptogenic zone, and has since followed up this surgery with a tailored resection which is expected to relieve the patient from the symptoms of epilepsy.

Professor of Functional Neurosurgery at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, Gray is also a director of the university’s Brain Repair and Intracranial Neurotherapeutics (BRAIN) Unit which brings together experts from Cardiff University, Swansea University, Bangor University and the NHS. He said: “The Renishaw robot is a significant step forward for epilepsy surgery in Wales, enabling us to investigate and treat even the most complex cases, to achieve seizure freedom for our patients. In collaboration with the BRAIN Unit, it will also enable us to perform leading research for measuring brain signals and delivering therapies directly into the brain, across many neurological diseases.”

The BRAIN Unit is funded by Health and Care Research Wales. Overseen by the Welsh Government, the organisation supports the development and delivery of world class health and social care research.

Dr. Abed Hammoud, CEO of Renishaw Mayfield SA (Switzerland) commented: “We are delighted to hear that our expertise in technology and engineering contributed to a positive result at the University Hospital of Wales, and look forward to working closely with the neuroscience department to deliver best possible outcomes for patients in Wales.”

Renishaw’s site in Miskin, near Cardiff, is home to the Renishaw Healthcare Centre of Excellence, which houses a mock operating theatre for the training and professional development of surgeons, plus a facility for the manufacture of customised medical implants produced using Renishaw’s metal 3D printing systems.

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