Surgeons will be trained to operate with the help of a robotic assistant in Scotland for the first time.
Surgical robots are used to carry out operations across four of the country’s health boards, but until now surgeons have had to travel to England or overseas to be trained in their use.
The Dundee Institute for Healthcare Simulation (DIHS) at Ninewells Hospital has taken delivery of a £1.7 million da Vinci Xi robot, and directors say its installation is the first step towards a full robotic training centre being established in Scotland.
The robot will be used to train surgeons and theatre staff across urology, gynaecology and general surgery.
DIHS co-director Dr Vanessa Kay said it is “vital” that Scotland is at the forefront of robotics training.
She said: “The evidence is that for patients it’s a shorter hospital stay, which is good for the patient, but also financially it’s good for the NHS.
“They have reduced blood loss, with some evidence of reduced complications and improved accuracy, and reduced pain.
“Overall it’s a win-win situation. I think there’s still a lot of research required though.
“There’s also the issue of cost. Robots are getting cheaper and I think it will become more cost-effective in time.”
She added: “Research and development remains vital and we want companies to get involved in this process through DIHS. We are immensely grateful for the support of our partners who have enabled us to take this step towards a full robotics training centre.”