Hospital Services Limited Teams With Kingsbridge Belfast to Deliver Island of Ireland First Fully-Endoscopic Spinal Surgery

Posted By:
Kingsbridge Private Hospital

12th Oct 2021

Known for introducing innovative new health technologies to hospitals and healthcare facilities across the UK and Ireland, Hospital Services Limited (HSL) has recently teamed up with Kingsbridge Private Hospital in Belfast to roll-out the only fully-endoscopic spinal surgery offering on the Island of Ireland.

Installed in early 2021, the recently commissioned RIWOspine system allows surgeons to deliver spinal surgery with increased precision via a smaller incision than the traditional surgical approach (less than one centimetre – 8mm or less, comparing with 5cm needed for the traditional surgery). The innovative technology RIWOspine offers is expected to draw patients from across the Island of Ireland to Kingsbridge Private Hospital to undergo minimally invasive disk herniation excision and facet joint ablation surgeries for back pain.

The RIWOspine system features a specially-designated 8mm thick telescope, with all instruments working through the 4mm in diameter telescope working channel. This orientation gives the surgeon a bird’s eye view of their instruments at work rather than having to establish a second angle for camera work. The high visibility of instrumentation enables the surgeon to work with greater precision and accuracy, whilst the 8mm incision required for surgery with RIWOspine means that patients could expect minimal to none muscular damage following surgery, a faster recovery time, and in most cases patients can expect to go home on the same day of surgery.

Helping to lessen some of the risk associated with spinal surgery, the system also includes a spinal mode irrigation pump which reads pressure within the spine during the procedure for added patient protection. If adverse pressure, which could lead to complications, should build up during the procedure, an alarm is triggered which pauses the procedure for added patient protection. The system also operates via radio frequency (RF) which ensures an extremely low temperature with minimal thermal spread. This results in a lower chance of damage to surrounding tissue and gives precision control of coagulation to surgeons.

In anticipation of the system’s roll-out, surgeons from Kingsbridge Private hospital including Mr Nikolay Peev, Consultant Neurosurgeon and Spinal Surgeon, and Mr Ashraf Abouharb, Consultant Neurosurgeon underwent intensive training by a leading faculty of surgeons in Germany organised by the RIWOspine company. Over the last couple of years, different endoscopic spinal surgery systems have been trialled at Kingsbridge Private Hospital. The RIWOspine system was chosen after going through two trial periods due to its very high quality and precision, ease of use and highest safety standards.

Launching the Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Spinal Surgery Programme in Kingsbridge Private Hospital Belfast was a natural continuation of the Minimally Invasive Complex Spine Surgery  Programme which was set up by Mr Nikolay Peev and Mr Ashraf Abouharb which they have been running now for over 5 years now with several thousand patients successfully treated.

Working with HSL’s RIWOspine specialist Alan Stead, the team at Kingsbridge have embraced the combination of newly developed surgical techniques, facilitated by innovative endoscopic technology and high-definition imaging products which drive this fully-endoscopic approach to common spine problems.

Commenting on the collaborative effort with Kingsbridge Private Hospital Alan said: “Kingsbridge Private Hospital is known across Ireland for its outstanding level of patient care and its willingness to embrace new innovations to improve the patient experience. We were delighted to team up with Kingsbridge to deliver this first-in-Ireland installation of the RIWOspine system. Our team continues to support Kingsbridge through annual maintenance, reactive support and technical assistance for theatre staff on-the-ground to ensure the best possible outcomes for surgeons and patients alike.”

In the first 18 months since commissioning RIWOspine, Kingsbridge Private Hospital has already treated over 500 patients using this new technology with many more showing interest in the reduced recovery time and true-minimally-invasive approach.

Commenting on the success of the offering Mr Nikolay Peev, Consultant Neurosurgeon and Spinal Surgeon at Kingsbridge Private Hospital said:

“Minimally invasive (key hole) surgery is already well established and practiced  around the world due to its well-recognised benefits for the patients, like  reduced risks of complications, improved functional outcomes, faster recovery after surgery, shorter hospital stay, and improved long term outcomes. Because of its well-recognised benefits and success, many patients are now actively searching for minimally invasive (key hole) options for their spinal problems.”

“I am now actively discussing and providing minimally invasive options for all of my patients who require surgery. With the RIWOspine System now available in Kingsbridge Private Hospital Belfast, we are able to close the circle of minimally invasive options and provide the full variety of the Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgeries necessary to cover the full variety simple and complex spinal problems.”

For more information on the RIWOspine offering delivered by Hospital Services Limited, visit /

For information on RIWOspine procedures offered by Kingsbridge Private Hospital visit