A REVOLUTIONARY form of surgery, which uses a robot to remove tumours, will soon be available for urological cancer patients in North Wales
The da Vinci robot makes it possible for surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery with greater precision and more control.
It uses tiny instruments, controlled remotely by the surgeon sitting at a console. The surgeon has the benefits of 3D vision and hand and foot controls to control the micromanipulators, which have a greater range of movement than the human hand.
The robot will be installed at Ysbyty Gwynedd, and the service will provide care to patients across North Wales.
Kyriacos Alexandrou, consultant urological Surgeon at Ysbyty Gwynedd and clinical lead for Urology across Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), said: “It has been a huge team effort that has led to acquiring robotic technology for the health board.
“With the recent appointment of another two urological cancer specialists, who were recruited to operate the new technology, we will now be able to deliver local high quality care to our patients.
“It will also, in the future, help avoid the long journeys to other hospitals in England to have cancer procedures.”
Professor Kingsley Ekwueme, robotic urological surgeon at Glan Clwyd Hospital, has up until now carried out robotic surgery on patients in North Wales in Liverpool and has welcomed the news that this type of surgery can now be offered closer to the homes of his patients.
Professor Ekwueme testing the robot during its demonstration at Ysbyty Gwynedd earlier during September this year. Picture: BCUHB
He said: “Acquiring the da Vinci robot is a major step towards transforming cancer services within our health board.
“I am delighted for our cancer patients who will now benefit from a significant improvement in the functional and oncological outcomes that robot assisted surgery provides.
“As a robotic surgeon I am very excited about the future of minimally invasive surgery in North Wales.”
The arrival of the surgical robot is the latest development within Urology to offer a world-class service for urological cancer patients.
During September, Cystectomy surgery was restarted in North Wales, which now prevents patients from travelling to other hospitals in the UK to receive this type of surgery.
The installation of the robot is planned for the end of December.
Gill Harris, acting chief executive at BCUHB, said: “The da Vinci surgical robot will bring significant benefit for our patients.
“As well as benefits for our patients, the implementation of a successful robotics programme will also ensure that we are in a position to attract the top trainees and future surgeons from across the UK and beyond.
“This is a significant development for our health board and, over time, the robot will be used not only to treat urological cancer patients but also colorectal and gynaecological cancers.”