Cancer patients are set to benefit from the very latest in robot-assisted surgery after the arrival of a second machine at Southend Hospital.
Patients in need of urology procedures, which involve treating cancer, as well as disease of the kidneys, bladder, and prostate, will be cared for by surgeons at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust who now have access to the da Vinci Xi system, a state-of-the-art surgical robot.
The machine, installed during Urology Awareness Month in September, translates the surgeon’s hand movements in real time, and it can bend and rotate the surgical instruments as they perform the procedure.
Mohamed Abd Alazeez, Consultant Urologist and Robotic Surgeon, and Robotic Lead, at the Trust, said: “The new Xi robot has arms that can manoeuvre surgical instruments more easily around the patient, allowing us to carry out procedures on those with more complex anatomy and improve their care.
“Having a second robot means patients spend less time waiting to have their cancer surgery. We performed nearly 300 robotic prostatectomy, 100 robotic cystectomy and 65 robotic renal operations last year, and with the new Xi system we expect these figures to double.
“The additional machine also provides more opportunities for our surgeons to carry out new and pioneering operations, showing that we are a leading centre for cancer treatment.”
The precise nature of the instruments mean that smaller, more exact incisions can be made than if the surgery were carried out by hand, cutting down on patients’ recovery time.
Patients also spend less time under anaesthetic with the new machine, as surgical staff can easily move it into position.
Andrew Pike, Chief Operating Officer at the Trust, said: “This is the second surgical robot at Southend Hospital, while we also have a machine at Broomfield Hospital, meaning that more patients across mid and south Essex can receive advanced treatments. This will help us to drive down our cancer waiting lists and care for patients in need of urology procedures.”
While the robot is currently used for urology procedures, it is planned that it will be used to treat gynaecology and colorectal conditions in the future.