Robot Surgeons to Operate on Prostate Cancer Patients for the First Time in Early 2015

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A humanoid robot being checked out at the University of Bonn July 3, 2014 Reuters

Robotic-assisted surgical system mimics the actions of a human hand, and according to Herald Scotland, the Scottish Government has pledged £1 million to buy it.

Small incisions are made through which tiny instruments and 3D camera are inserted into the body and from the console, a sorgeon operates. The view is magnified and the surgeon is comfortable also reducing blood loss and recovery time for the patients.

At Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, this system will be used to treat prostate cancer patients. Official figures show that around 3,000 Scottish men suffer from prostate cancer every year, with 900 of them dying because of it.

Alex Neil, the health secretary, believes that the pledge by the Scottish government will be the beginning of a national roll out of robotic surgery. He said this will improve quality and safety of the effectiveness of the operations.

He added that since prostate cancer is most common among the men in Scotland, the government must ensure that advanced treatment is available for the men and that they are determined to adopt innovations in surgeries to make a difference.

RASS helps patients with prostate, bowel, rectal and gynaecological cancers and non-malignant cancers.

Fundraising campaigns have received support from former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and business people. Once efforts for fundraising are complete, the systems will operate at the NHS Grampian hospital from two surgical theatres in early 2015.

Justin Royle from the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary said that robotics is essential not only for cancer care but also for complex pelvic and oropharyngeal and cardiothoracic surgery. She added that the technology will help improve the outcome of the surgery and should be viewed as the first of many.

In Europe, the machine has been used for a decade with England and Wales using more than 40, but this will be the first time Scottish patients will benefit from it.

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