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30 successful Regeneten surgeries as Bath’s Sulis Hospital set to embrace biological surgical solutions in 2023

Bath’s award-winning Sulis Hospital, has this month reached the milestone of delivering 30 successful Regeneten biological surgical procedures.

Developed by Smith & Nephew, Regeneten is a bio-inductive implant that addresses both the biomechanics and biology required to heal a rotator cuff tear in a shoulder joint.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeons such as Mr Andrew Chambler and Gavin Jennings specialise in the surgery and Sulis Hospital is currently involved in a worldwide clinical study, sponsored by Smith & Nephew []. Early analysis shows a significant reduction in the re-tear rate of rotator cuff repairs when using the Regeneten Bioinductive implant.

Biological surgery is in its infancy but offers vast potential because it uses cells to regenerate normal human tissue rather than removing it or using metal or plastic.

Medical science has a much greater understanding of cellular biology than it has ever had and around the world researchers and universities are working on techniques that manipulate cell behaviour.

Regeneten surgery at Sulis Hospital

A group of muscles and tendons that hold the shoulder joint in place and allow you to move your arm and shoulder, rotator cuffs commonly experience tears, most often caused by chronic wear and tear with degeneration of the tendon. Among the most common musculoskeletal conditions, rotator cuff tendon tears are therapeutically challenging for orthopaedic surgeons.  

A biological procedure, the Regeneten technique supports the body’s natural healing response to facilitate new tendon-like tissue growth and disrupt disease progression. Over 30 Regeneten cases have been carried out at Sulis Hospital's specialist Shoulder Unit since the end of 2020 and results remain very promising.

Hitchcock researched the different options available and underwent an MRI scan at Sulis Hospital to find a solution that enabled him to get back to his daily activities. Following a consultation with Consultant and Orthopaedic Surgeon, Andrew Chambler, Hitchcock was informed that the surgery could allow him to get “somewhere near where he used to be”. He is now back powerlifting again.

“The Regeneten biological surgery has allowed me to live my life to its fullest again. Sulis Hospital were professional and gave a fantastic service throughout the entire journey.”

Speaking of his experience, Hitchcock comments:

He adds: “As an avid sportsman, this shoulder injury had a great impact on both my physical and mental health. I was unable to work or continue training, something that has always been a key part of my lifestyle.

"Having thoroughly researched procedures available to me, I opted for this biological surgery as I knew the recovery time was so much better than other forms of surgery.

"I was able to return to the gym after only four months and back into work within six months. I’m now feeling fit and able to powerlift again which has been great. I can’t fault the service I received from Sulis Hospital and would recommend the regeneten biological surgical procedure to anyone who has suffered a similar injury”.

Andrew Chambler, Consultant and Orthopaedic Surgeon commented: “I am pleased to hear of the results of Jan Hitchcock’s surgery. The use of biological augmentation in traditional surgery is very exciting.

"Studies are showing using Regeneten reduces the rate of re-tear of tendon repairs and also partial thickness tendon tears can be treated earlier and allows accelerated rehabilitation allowing patients to return to work and their recreational pursuits sooner than before.”

Simon Milner, Hospital Director at Sulis Hospital adds: “I am tremendously proud of the team and their achievements in making this ground-breaking surgery a success. We always pride ourselves at Sulis Hospital on investing in innovation that will make a difference in people’s lives. We look forward to more biological successes as our surgeries continue to evolve with life-enhancing results.”

One of the first fully operational private hospitals in the UK where 100% of the shares are owned by an NHS Trust, Sulis Hospital has a vision to continue to lead the way in a new, more innovative way of thinking. It remains dedicated to enhancing the quality of people’s lives through the provision of exceptional care.

Sulis Hospital aims to help to make healthcare better for all.  By creating an environment in which people can take ownership and instigate change, it ensures service can continue to evolve and adapt to patient needs.