About this event

  • Date and time Mon 18 May 2020 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Public Engagement Programme

This event has been postponed and will now take place as a live stream on Monday 17 May 2021. You can book your place for the new date here. Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Join us for this free evening event to hear this year's Stevens lecture, 'The future of surgical robotics, the future is surgical robotics?' given by Mr Ben Challacombe, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Senior Lecturer, King’s College London.

Lecture topic

There are now over 80 surgical robots across the NHS helping perform over 15,000 cancer operations every year. This lecture will cover the emergence of surgical robotics over the last 20 years and the current UK availability of this technology. Specific issues of training, mentoring and evaluation of clinical outcomes will be shown. Key robotic surgery indications and operations will be showcased with illustrative videos.

2020 sees the emergence of several novel robotic surgery platforms to rival the existing robots and these will be shown and evaluated. The future of robotic surgery across a wide range of specialities and the emerging indications and technologies will be discussed.

Key speakers

Mr Ben Challacombe

Mr Ben Challacombe

Consultant Urological Surgeon, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Senior Lecturer, King’s College London

Speaker's biography

Mr Ben Challacombe is a consultant urological surgeon with a special interest in the minimally invasive treatments of prostatic diseases. He is the Guy’s and St Thomas’ MDM urological cancer and clinical robotics lead, a UK robotic surgery mentor and robotic fellowship director. He trained at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals, The Royal Marsden Hospital and with Professor Tony Costello at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where he was awarded the prestigious Rowan Nicks Fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He is currently the British Association of Urology (BAUS) Oncology Section chairman and in 2019 was awarded the BAUS Golden Cystoscope for contributions to British urology within 10 years of consultant appointment. He is currently the BAUS oncology section chair and the honorary secretary of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Urology Section.


Mr Challacombe has learnt both laparoscopic and robotic surgical approaches and performed the first randomised trial of telerobotics between Guy’s and Johns Hopkins hospitals, in 2002. This formed part of his Master of Surgery thesis on robotic surgery and telemedicine. Ben is associate editor of the BJU International, with over 230 peer-reviewed publications, three books, and 25 book chapters on minimally invasive and robotic urological techniques.


Mr Challacombe has performed over 1000 robotic radical prostatectomies and over 1100 robotic upper tract procedures including 560 robotic partial nephrectomies and also performs holmium laser prostatectomy (HoLEP) with an experience of over 1000 cases. He has also helped to develop both the robotic cystectomy and robotic partial nephrectomy programmes at Guy’s hospital and is the highest volume surgeon for both robotic partial nephrectomy and upper tract robotics in the UK. His current research interests are in robotic surgery training, trans-perineal template biopsy techniques, active surveillance of low-risk prostate cancer, sentinel node techniques and haptic probe development in robotic surgery.


Mr Ben Challacombe is a trustee of The Urology Foundation Charity, for whom he regularly lectures, and is fortunate to have a very supportive surgical wife and three energetic boys.


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

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