Landmark Robotic Cancer Surgery at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital

Published January 16, 2017 at 17:41

Surgeons at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust this month performed the 100th prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland) operation using robotic assisted surgery at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.

In a milestone for the treatment of prostate cancer in Lancashire, Consultant Urological Surgeon Mr Mohammed Masaarane successfully operated on the 56-year-old patient from Preston using the hospital’s da Vinci® Robot to remove a cancerous prostate gland.

Mr Masaarane said following the landmark 100th prostatectomy: “Advanced surgery using the robot makes it possible to remove tumours far more precisely than the hand of even the most skilled surgeon.

“For the patient, robotic assisted surgery is less invasive, less painful and results in faster recovery and fewer surgical complications.”

Affectionately known as ‘Leo’ by Theatres staff at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, the £1.6 million robot delivers more precise cancer removal resulting in less pain, a shorter recovery period and hospital stay as the surgery is far less invasive; less requirement for radiotherapy; improved long term outcomes for continence and a faster return to normal daily life.

In June 2015, Clinical Director Mr Shahid Islam and colleagues in the Surgery and Anaesthetics Division brought robotic surgery to East Lancashire, a first for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, and it has now been commissioned by the NHS to provide robotic prostate surgery right across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

The system is a modern alternative to the traditional surgical approach, giving surgeons increased clinical capability while maintaining the same “look and feel” of open surgery. The surgeon operates while seated comfortably at a console viewing a 3D image of the patient while their hands direct the master controls.

Robotics surgery at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust encompasses a growing number of surgeons from across the county, and, following the first head and neck cancer procedure using robotic assisted surgery in December, there is the potential to perform more surgical specialties including, but not limited to, gynaecology, colorectal (bowel) and hepatobiliary (liver).

Miss Maire Morton, Divisional Director for Surgery and Anaesthetic Services at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Eighteen months ago, the Trust Board and senior Consultants took the bold decision to purchase this costly first ‘robot’ for use at an NHS hospital in Lancashire, a future proof investment that is available to other NHS Trusts so everyone in the county may benefit.

“We believe strongly that cancer patients across Lancashire and South Cumbria deserve the best treatment available and robotic assisted surgery is very definitely the future – something that many more people diagnosed every year with cancer should benefit from.”

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