New surgical robot for Southmead Hospital's Urology team to help fight prostate cancer

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

A pioneering £750,000 surgical robot has been purchased by Southmead Hospital Charity to treat men with prostate cancer at Southmead Hospital.

Southmead Hospital Charity has purchased a pioneering £750,000 surgical robot to treat men with prostate cancer at Southmead Hospital

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Every day more than 130 men are diagnosed with the disease in the UK.

Southmead Hospital is the one of the largest urological centres in the country, treating thousands of patients with prostate cancer a year, and was one of the first centres in the UK to specialise in robotic surgery to treat the disease.

But having helped save the lives of thousands of men, Southmead Hospital’s first robot, bought in 2009, was aging and in need of replacement to enable the urology teams to be at the forefront of cancer care.

Southmead Hospital Charity launched the Prostate Cancer Care Appeal in 2016 to fund two new urological surgical robots and thanks to their fundraising, a more advanced Intuitive Da Vinci robot will continue the pioneering work in treating men with prostate cancer from across Bristol and the South West.

Salah Albuheissi, lead urology consultant, said: “We’re very grateful to Southmead Hospital Charity and their fundraisers and donors, and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported the Prostate Cancer Care Appeal.

“Our urology team have created a leading prostate cancer service and with the purchase of a new robot we can continue to be at the forefront of prostate cancer care and grow our expertise in treating other cancers robotically.

“At the moment the demand for robotic procedures is greater than our capacity with one robot, a second surgical robot would enable us to treat even more men from across the region as well as provide robotic surgery for other types of cancer like kidney, bladder and gynaecological.

“It means that more patients will benefit from a reduction in their length of stay in hospital and have quicker operations.

“Our current robot will now be retired from surgery but used as a training model to train the next generation of robotic surgeons here in Bristol.”

Southmead Hospital Charity is hoping to secure a further £750,000 in the coming year to purchase a second surgical robot to treat more men and to expand robot surgery to other types of cancers like kidney and bladder, as well as gynaecological cancers.

Robotic surgery is more accurate, less invasive, causes less blood loss, and reduces the length of stay in hospital by one to three days compared to open surgical methods. Men also have much better long term prospects for a full recovery.

Elizabeth Bond, head of fundraising at Southmead Hospital Charity, said: “We are thrilled to be able to fund the purchase of a new Da Vinci robot so that the urology team can continue the amazing work they do.

“But there is still more work to do to reach our target and raise the money to buy a much needed second robot to keep up with demand for this type of surgery.

“So we will be continuing to fundraise with the help of our brilliant community of fundraisers, donors and supporters and would love to hear from anyone who would like to donate or support the Prostate Cancer Care Appeal.

“I’d also like to say a special thank you to everyone who has donated to or fundraised for the Prostate Cancer Care Appeal and made this possible – from abseils and marathons to bake sales and fancy dress up days – our fundraisers have been instrumental in reaching this goal.

“We have also benefited from some very generous donations from private supporters, companies, community groups and grant giving bodies, particularly John Lewis Cribbs Causeway, Guildhall Chambers and the rotary clubs of Bristol, Bristol Breakfast and Chipping Sodbury and Yate.”

Andrea Young, North Bristol NHS Trust Chief Executive, said: “The new advanced Da Vinci robot ensures that our urology and surgical teams remain at the forefront of cancer care at Southmead Hospital and I am proud to see the great strides the department are making to ensure exceptional healthcare for our patients.

“To reach this milestone is a fantastic achievement by Southmead Hospital Charity and their supporters, to whom we are very grateful for their continued support.”