Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico
1903 Robotics Surgery ;

King's Experts Series: Meet the machines

Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals, part of King’s Health Partners (KHP), is a leading centre for robotic surgery, with the longest-running robotics programme, carrying out the most robotic operations in the UK.

Home to six specialist surgical robots, Guy’s Hospital is pushing boundaries in artificial intelligence (AI) integrated surgery. In this unique centre, passionate teams are helping to shape the future of cancer treatment for next generations. Performing the highest number of lung cancer removals in Europe per year, using pioneering robotic surgery the team can transform a traditional three-week hospital stay into a one-day procedure, even removing the need for chemotherapy in 20% of patients.

Guy’s Cancer Centre is one of the leading centres in the country for cancer treatment and research, using these specialist robots, life-saving procedures are performed in a minimally invasive way, resulting in quicker patient recovery time.

Impact beyond surgery

How we look is an integral part of who we are. Nobody wants to look or feel different because they’ve had cancer. Robots let us put patients at the centre of surgeries. With better preservation of the human body, they leave fewer scars. The emotional impact of preserving appearance goes a long way to supporting life beyond cancer, boosting mental wellbeing in patients and surgeons who make this possible.

Daring to innovate

Jean-Pierre Jeannon, Clinical Director of Surgical Oncology and Associate Professor of Head & Neck Surgery at King’s is an internationally renowned expert in head and neck cancer. Performing the first ever double robotic cancer surgery, Jean-Pierre simultaneously removed lung and throat cancers during one operation. Jean-Pierre comments on this innovative use of robotics: ‘A few years ago, I thought I was too old to learn something new. But the process of training in robotics has been transformative, like learning a new musical instrument or learning a new language. One of my patients, who’s in her 80s, was so happy to be offered robotic surgery. She’d felt that she was too old to go into a clinical trial or for us to try and save her eyesight. But you are never too old to provide or receive the best cancer care’.

The process of training in robotics has been transformative. You are never too old to provide or receive the best cancer care.– Jean-Pierre Jeannon, Clinical Director of Surgical Oncology and Associate Professor of Head & Neck Surgery at King’s

The future of robotics

Guy’s Cancer is a Centre for Excellence in cancer treatment – a recognised and awarded institution where the highest standards are maintained. A challenge for hospitals is the ability to embrace the experimental in risk averse environments – especially since Covid-19 has resulted in increased rules and regulations. Currently, robots are limited to specialist centres and surgeons. To make robotics more accessible around the world and democratise its use, further research is needed to demystify the use of AI as a vital need in the future of surgery.

The power of King’s Health Partners

King’s Health Partners is a partnership between King’s College London and three NHS Foundation Trusts – Guys and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley. We bring together 40,000 NHS Staff with 30,000 students and researchers to join up world-class research, education and pioneering clinical practice. Academic Health Sciences Centres are engine rooms of high impact and innovation discovering new insights into disease, transforming diagnostics, and unlocking new therapies. We speed up the time it takes to translate research and high impact innovations into outstanding patient care.

Through this powerful model, Guy’s Cancer Centre can bring transformational expertise worldwide, but to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and see robots in all hospitals, we need a bigger research platform.

The vision: more hospitals worldwide, performing high impact robotic surgery, at a lower cost, and with less extensive training required for surgeons.

At Guy’s, we are laying the foundations to normalize the future of life-saving robotics surgery.

Related links

Latest news