Mr Matthew Bartlett
Consultant Orthopaedic, Surgeon at London North West University Healthcare NHS, Trust and The Clementine Churchill Hospital
Patients who have robotic-assisted knee surgery can expect better experiences before, during and after their operation. The technology may even allow them to be treated as day cases in the future.
“I rarely perform knee replacement surgery without robotic assistance these days,” says Mr Matthew Bartlett, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and BMI The Clementine Churchill Hospital.
“I tell patients that I prefer robotic-assisted surgery because of the increased accuracy it affords,” he says. He explains that with conventional surgery, a rod is inserted through the femur to guide alignment. This is not necessary in robotic-assisted operations, which makes them less invasive and gives better control of bleeding.
Mr Bartlett and his team have been using robotics for over a year. He believes knee surgery patients are recuperating faster and mobilising more quickly as a result. “We’re working towards decreasing the length of post-operative in-patient stay,” he says. “In America, knee patients can be treated as day cases with use of robotics. That’s our ambition, too, eventually.”
My view is that unless I’m constantly advancing, then I’m failing in my responsibility to my patients.
Quicker mobility for patients
Most patients are positive and relaxed about use of robotics in surgery, explains Mr Bartlett, “particularly when they are reassured that it’s just a tool I use to perform the operation.” After all, if technology can improve the patient experience then it makes complete sense to use it.
“As surgeons we can’t rest on our laurels,” says Mr Bartlett. “My view is that unless I’m constantly advancing then I’m failing in my responsibility to my patients. Once we get to the point where there are no complications and 100% of patients are completely satisfied with their knee surgery, then maybe we can take a step back. I don’t think we’ll ever get to that point — but we have to keep trying.”