Robot-assisted surgery (RAS) is a type of minimally invasive surgery. Typically, the surgeon guides the robot into the body through small cuts and does the procedure from a computer console, next to the operating table. RAS is becoming more widely used as an alternative to open and laparoscopic surgery. In 2022, the Royal College of Surgeons estimated that over 1.8 million RAS procedures were done internationally and it was available in more than 100 UK hospitals (RCS 2023). There is unanimous acknowledgement across NHS organisations, professional societies and industry that RAS use is expanding in the UK. RAS has many potential benefits for patients, surgeons and the NHS. It may increase access to minimally invasive surgery, reduce the number of minimally invasive procedures that are converted to open surgery, reduce the length of hospital stay and recovery time, and reduce the physical strain on surgeons. All these factors may increase efficiency in the NHS. RAS can be done for many different types of procedure, on many parts of the body. These can be broadly categorised into RAS for soft-tissue procedures and RAS for orthopaedic procedures. NICE is scoping for 2 early value assessments (EVAs) for RAS technologies in each of these areas. The RAS for soft-tissue procedures EVA will aim to identify and review robotic technologies that help surgeons to do procedures in the soft tissues of the body, including blood vessels and internal organs. These technologies typically aim to increase control and precision in cutting, sealing and connecting soft tissues.
Status In progress
Technology type Device
Decision Selected
Reason for decision Anticipate the topic will be of importance to patients, carers, professionals, commissioners and the health of the public to ensure clinical benefit is realised, inequalities in use addressed, and help them make the best use of NHS resources
Process EVA
ID number 40

Project Team

Project lead Harriet Wilson

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Key events during the development of the guidance:

Date Update
22 April 2024 Launch
22 April 2024 In progress. Topic launch.
09 April 2024 Awaiting development. Status change linked to Topic Selection Decision being set to Selected

For further information on our processes and methods, please see our early value assessment interim statement.