UK robot surgeons treat women with endometriosis

The machines cost a whopping £2 million ($2.5 million) each but the patients they treat believe they are well worth the money.
Loukia Papadopoulos
An illustration of a robot surgeon.jpg
An illustration of a robot surgeon.


In the UK, robot surgeons that cost a whopping £2 million ($2.5 million) each are helping thousands of women plagued by the painful womb condition endometriosis.

This is according to a report by the Daily Mail published on Saturday.

The remote-controlled machines are being used by NHS Trusts to operate on all the women who missed out on these crucial operations during the Covid pandemic. The devices work with pinpoint accuracy meaning patients recover faster and better with less complications.

Endometriosis is a condition that develops when tissue that would normally line the womb starts to grow in other parts of the body, such as the ovaries, bowel and bladder, even occasionally in the spine, lungs or brain.

Regardless of their new location, they still behaves just like womb tissue, swelling and bleeding every month during a woman’s period, causing intense pain.

During the pandemic, nearly 80 percent of all NHS endometriosis-related surgeries were delayed or simply canceled. Now, robot-assisted surgery is helping ensure all the women who need treatment get it.

Amer Raza, a robotic surgeon at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, told the Daily Mail the new robots are “revolutionizing endometriosis treatment and could soon become the first-choice surgical treatment on the NHS.”

Jeffrey Ahmed, consultant gynecologist at the hospital, added: “It takes about 60 percent of the time needed for conventional surgery. We’re also saving about £1,300 ($1,600) per patient because there is less blood loss – so fewer blood transfusions – and patients get discharged sooner.”

One of the patients to receive the new surgery was Natalie Meagan-Blake, 39, who underwent the procedure at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital last month.

Meagan-Blake had a long and difficult journey suffering heavy, prolonged and painful periods from the age of nine. Even her mum had endometriosis but doctors insisted there was nothing wrong and told her to take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol. It took until her early 30s for her to be properly diagnosed and treated .

“I used to regularly miss school and work because my periods were so extreme and lasted two weeks at a time,” she told the Daily Mail. “I was in excruciating pain.”

She has had four targeted procedures in just six years but unfortunately the excess tissue continues to grow back within eight or nine months. Surgical robots allow her to get the treatment she needs to function properly as often as she needs.

Another patient Natalie, a fitness center duty manager from London, also praised the many benefits of the new operation.

“I feel totally different this time and have recovered much more quickly,” she told the Daily Mail.

“I’m nowhere near as fatigued and I haven’t needed to take a single painkiller. It’s likely my endometriosis will return, but I’ll definitely be asking for robotic surgery again.”