Patients undergoing knee, hip and other joint replacement surgery at Northallerton’s Friarage Hospital are set to benefit from robotic-assisted surgery.

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said benefits to patients will include less pain, quicker recovery, shorter hospital stays and more natural-feeling movement after surgery.

Using 3D technology, the robotic system allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan before their operation.

During the operation a robotic arm is a controlled by the surgeon in the operating theatre, giving them precise control of their instruments.

The trust says as well as benefiting patients undergoing surgery, the advantages from new robotic system include surgeons being able to carry out more operations due to the shorter time patients have to stay in hospital.

The Friarage is now a nationally recognised NHS surgical hub and this month, building work began on a new £35.5m theatre complex which more than double the number of planned operations carried out at the hospital each year.

Andy Port, surgeon and chair of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s head and neck, orthopaedic and reconstructive services clinical collaborative, said: “Thanks to the incredible work of colleagues across the trust, NHS waiting times for orthopaedic procedures at the Friarage are now lower than before the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: ‘Sea change’ at Friarage Hospital following years of losing services

“The adoption of this new robotic surgical system at the hospital will enable even more patients to be seen by allowing surgeons to pre-plan surgery using 3D technology and then perform the operation by guiding the robotic arm to precisely remove arthritic bone and damaged cartilage before replacing it with an implant designed to replicate the knee or hip joint.

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“For patients undergoing surgery, it means quicker recovery times, reduced pain and improved function. For people waiting for surgery, it means more patients can be seen.”

Mike Stewart, chief medical officer at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Robotic surgery first came to Teesside and North Yorkshire in 2014. Over the last three years a quiet revolution has taken place, making it possible for more surgeons to perform operations with greater precision and control than ever before for our patients.

“The adoption of this latest robot-assisted surgical system for the Friarage Hospital is another fantastic development for our patients.”