When undergoing rectal cancer surgery, the piece of bowel containing the cancer is removed but surgeons then have to re-join the two healthy ends. Sometimes, this join does not heal properly, causing the bowel to leak. This is a potentially fatal complication known as an anastomotic leak.
The IntAct study will determine whether the use of new technology such as the cancer centre’s robotic system, which enables patients to undergo minimally invasive or keyhole surgery, is better than conventional surgery at reducing the risk of this dangerous complication.
With the first patient already recruited to the trail, consultant colorectal surgeon Mr Yannis Peristerakis said: “We are delighted to have established one of the best performing robotic colorectal units in the UK and proud to be contributing to a high profile international study.”
Since its first procedure last May, the cancer centre’s robot has been hugely successful in improving outcomes for cancer patients from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria undergoing surgery for a variety of different cancers. It has been used for 248 operations, enabling patients to benefit from speedier recovery times with the need for less post-operative pain relief and shorter hospital stays.
The robot provides a three dimensional view of the area to be operated on and its ‘wristed’ instruments allow much greater control and care of tissues, making it much easier for surgeons to access parts of the body that are difficult to reach and undertake complex procedures.