Prostate cancer: Surgical robot cuts hospital stays

Robot in operating theatreImage source, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Image caption,

The procedure, robotic prostatectomy, is carried out about five times a week at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Prostate cancer patients are able to return home days sooner than previously thanks to the use of a robot in surgery, a hospital says.

Surgeons at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge use the robot to remove cancerous tissues.

The surgery makes small incisions in the patient’s abdomen, resulting in less blood loss and pain.

Where open surgery often meant a four or five day stay, robotic prostatectomy patients can go home 24 hours later.

Cambridge University Hospitals Trust said bed space is freed up by using a surgical robot.

Nursing staff care for the patient after surgery before discharging them the following morning.

Image source, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Image caption,

The hospital stay time was something Alistair Forsyth said he was “weighing up” when considering treatment options for his prostate cancer

Alistair Forsyth, 64, was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and decided to have the robotic prostatectomy procedure.

“Knowing I would be home the next day made a real difference to me when I was weighing up my treatment options,” he said.

“I want to be free of cancer and get back to work and my normal life as soon as possible.

“Not having to stay in hospital for several days also means someone else can use that bed space and they can have their operation too.”

Image source, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Image caption,

The surgeon uses the control panel to operate the robot’s arms during surgery

Ben Lamb, consultant surgeon at CUH, said the robot gives a “high level of manoeuvrability and precision” to enable surgeons to target cancerous areas without opening up the patient’s abdomen.

“This really benefits the patient and speeds up their recovery but it also means I can treat more people, as they need less time in hospital,” he said.

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