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More than 1,000 patients benefit from high-tech robot

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More than 1,000 patients benefit from high-tech robot

February 15
14:25 2017

A high-tech robot that helps surgeons perform highly precise and minimally-invasive surgery has been used over 1,000 times at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

The £1.8 million Da Vinci machine is used for multiple specialties including Urology, Gynaecology, Colorectal surgery and Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT).

However, the most commonly performed procedure using the robot is a radical prostatectomy –  the removal of all of the prostate gland to treat prostate cancer.

The 1,000th operation using the machine took place on Robert Godley, 57, of Frecheville, Sheffield, who underwent a robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) performed by Consultant Urologist Mr David Yates.

Mr Godley said: “I know that this operation has given me the best possible chance of recovery, and I am extremely grateful that the technology is available at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. I am also very grateful to the staff, not just for their skill but also their care. A friend of mine was one of the first people to be operated on by Mr Yates using the robot, and he is doing well three years down the line so it was good to have that insight before my own surgery. My wounds have healed quite quickly, with it being small incisions, and I am still able to do everything that I used to be able to.”

As well as prostatectomies, the robot it is used for procedures including nephrectomies (removal of all or part of the kidney), hysterectomies, bowel cancer operations and tonsil surgery and radical cystectomies (removal of the bladder to treat bladder cancer).

The robot allows surgeons to perform delicate, complex and less invasive surgery on a sophisticated robot platform. The surgeon uses joysticks and foot pedals to work the robotic arms. A 3D HD camera is controlled by the surgeon’s eyes, hands and feet. The camera is ten times more accurate than the human eye and using specially designed ‘wristed’ instruments, the surgeon can perform complex surgery through small incisions with precision, as the machine adjusts itself to compensate for the natural tremor in the human hand.

The first patient to be operated on using the machine at the Royal Hallamshire was Trevor Risley, 66, of Rotherham who also underwent a radical prostatectomy.

He said: “It didn’t faze me being the first person. I think progress is a fantastic thing. The surgery went smashing, everything was first class and I was out the following afternoon.

Mr Yates spoke about the benefits of using the robot, saying: “Patients only stay in for one night as opposed to three or four for open surgery. There is much less blood loss, so no need for transfusions, and the patients can get back to normal activity more quickly as the robot approach is much less invasive than conventional open surgery.

“Functional results, such as urinary incontinence, are improved with the robot and surgeons are not at risk of back and shoulder problems. The 3D view with the articulated instruments also enables you to see lots of detail and be very precise.”


Written by Reece Armstrong

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