More funding needed for Pluto

02 May Archive Nisha Rahman

Previously the Chelsea Children’s Hospital Charity, we re-launched as The Children’s Surgery Foundation in 2019 to reflect the national scope of our work today. The story below is from our days as the Chelsea Children’s Hospital Charity.

We’ve recently funded £11,000 of new equipment for our million-pound children’s surgical robot, Pluto. Because Pluto is so precise, its equipment, such as scissors, hooks and graspers, has to be replaced after every 20 uses to ensure it always remains ultra-sharp and precise. So there’s a vital need for ongoing fundraising to ensure the hospital can keep Pluto in use.

We caught up with Miss Nisha Rahman, Consultant Paediatric Urologist, who is one of the surgeons trained to use Pluto. 

“When I’m using the surgical robot, Pluto, I sit in the console with my fingers in the handles. Whatever movement I make, the robot makes. The precision of the robot is incredible. For certain operations, Pluto gives us fantastic access without big scars, which is really beneficial to our young patients.


“I’ve just carried out a pyeloplasty operation on a little girl who had a kidney blockage, which went so smoothly. The new scissors have such a sharp edge and the robotic stitching is excellent. 

“Children over the age of four who need this surgery benefit from the robot because an open pyeloplasty is more challenging in older children. The robot gives you far better access to the kidneys. The little girl was able to go home less than 48 hours after surgery. With conventional surgery she would have been in hospital for at least four days. Instead of a large scar, she had three tiny incisions, and she needed minimal pain relief. She was very happy!

“We’re so privileged here at Chelsea to have the robot. So many colleagues at other hospitals would love to have one. And I’m so grateful to be part of the robotic team.”