Third party

Health Technology has published guidance on robot-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS). RATS can be used to remove part or all of a diseased lung in people with cancer or other conditions.

A surgeon's hand picking up a tool

During the procedure, the robotic device is controlled by a surgeon and replaces the movements of the surgeon’s own hands and fingers.

It has been proposed that RATS can enable the operation to be performed with more accuracy on small sections of the lungs that would otherwise be difficult for the surgeon to reach.

According to Health Technology Wales's guidance, the current evidence suggests there is uncertainty regarding the short and long-term clinical effectiveness of RATS  compared to current standards of care – open or video assisted thoracic surgery. The guidance states that current evidence does not support the routine adoption of RATS in Wales.

Read the guidance in full