In 2013, a new surgical procedure was used for first time in the UK at St George’s Hospital, London to remove of a cancerous kidney tumour.
The procedure combines the da Vinci surgical system with an injection of a dye into the patient’s kidney. The dye illuminates healthy tissue and shows up under the da Vinci’s camera as a bright green light and as a consequence the procedure is called Firefly.
Chris Anderson, a consultant urologist at St George’s is one of the early adopters of robotic surgical techniques after receiving specialist training in 2005 at the world renowned Henry Ford Robotic Center in Detroit. Anderson has built-up a leading renal cancer unit at St George's and introduced the Firefly technology into the UK. He says, “Partial kidney removal is a complex operation that requires complete removal of the tumour and reconstruction of the remaining healthy kidney. By combining the da Vinci system with Firefly we are able to achieve our goal better than in the past.”