See a surgical robot peel a grape and attempt origami at men’s cancer event

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The public can see a surgical robot in action at a special Southmead Hospital Charity event to raise awareness of men’s cancers.

On Tuesday November 3, between 10am and 4pm, the public can see the robot demonstrate its precision is as a surgeon will use it to peel a grape – and attempt a spot of origami.

They may even be able to operate it themselves at the event, supported by Southmead Hospital Charity.

A Da Vinci robot, like the one used in surgery, will be in the atrium of the Brunel Building at Southmead Hospital.

The hospital’s specialist team of urologists will also be on hand to discuss how it works as well as the latest developments in treating men’s cancers.

Southmead Hospital was one of the first hospitals in the UK to have the Da Vinci robot in 2009.

The Da Vinci robot is used to take out the prostate in men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The urology team at Southmead has carried out thousands of robotic radical prostatectomies and hundreds of bladder removals since 2009.

The £1.5 million device is so precise it can peel the skin from a grape.

The surgeons operate surgical instruments on the robotic arms which means they make smaller, more precise incisions and the procedure is less intrusive.

It has meant that men can recover quicker than ever before and many patients are now discharged home within 24 hours.

Anthony Koupparis, lead clinician for urology at Southmead Hospital, said: “By bringing a robot similar to our own out of the operating theatre and into a public space we hope to better inform people of the advances that have been made in treating prostate cancer.

“The robot has revolutionised the way that we treat prostate cancers and we have extended its use to treating other cancers too.”

The event is sponsored by Southmead Hospital Charity.

Jane Ibbunson, head of fundraising for Southmead Hospital Charity, said: “This really is a unique event for the public to see a surgical robot in action – it’s also a great way to help people to better understand what to expect if they are faced with the prospect of robotic surgery.

“Southmead Hospital Charity is proud to support the urological team in their advances in treating prostate cancer and this event is one of the ways the charity hopes to raise more awareness of cancer.”

The Da Vinci robot will be in the Brunel Building, Southmead Hospital, from 10am to 4pm on Tuesday November 3 2015.

For more information about the event visit