New surgical robot to deliver improved outcomes for cancer patients
From May this year, men diagnosed with early prostate cancer in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire will benefit from treatment using a new high-tech surgical robot at Cheltenham General Hospital. It is hoped that the £1.2m investment by our Trust, with help from a local charity (Robocap) will dramatically improve outcomes for men with prostate cancer while reducing the side effects of surgery and the length of stay for these patients by more than half.
The Da Vinci surgical system is a robot that has revolutionised surgical treatment for prostate cancer by making it possible for surgeons to perform minimally-invasive surgery with greater precision and control than ever before. It uses tiny instruments which have an even greater range of motion than the human hand and has a number of benefits over open and standard keyhole surgery. The instruments inside the patient are controlled by the surgeon.
The state-of-the-art robot allows surgeons to use 3D vision and high-precision instruments to remove the prostate in affected men with cancer. It is made up of a console operated by the surgeon, and a patient-side system with four robotic arms that execute the surgeon's commands. The robot enables surgeons to carry out highly complex operations with extreme precision.
The first operation will take place in May and it is estimated that 150 prostate cancer patients will undergo the procedure each year. The robot has been delivered and between now and May, consultants and theatre practitioners will receive extensive training.
Biral Patel, Consultant Urological Surgeon said: "The system is proven technology, allowing surgeons better vision and a greater level of precision than ever before, thereby reducing the side effects of the operation and improving the recovery time.
"Our aim is to improve the diagnosis and management of early prostate cancer in the region by using the best available techniques and equipment. We are determined to keep up with developing technologies in order to make sure we continue to deliver the very best for our patients.”
The Robocap Charity contributed £350,000 towards the cost and the main capital investment was funded by our Trust. Money raised by Robocap will also go towards providing several clinical accessories which are required for the procedure.
We are extremely grateful for the huge amount of effort, fundraising and support of the Robocap Charity, its Trustees and the people of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire who have helped to raise a significant proportion of the funds. Whist the robot will be based at Cheltenham General Hospital, this type of surgery will now be available to the people of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
Chief Executive Dr Frank Harsent said: "It is with great pleasure that we announce what we believe is a significant development in the management of prostate cancer in our region. This major investment demonstrates our commitment to providing the best local treatment for our patients both now and in the future."
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. In the UK alone, around 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and around 200 lives are lost due to the disease every week.