In 2007, The Royal Marsden introduced the da Vinci S surgical system – a robot that has revolutionised patient treatment by making it possible for surgeons to make microscopic incisions with greater accuracy and control than ever before.
The Royal Marsden is now the largest provider of robotic surgical procedures for prostate cancer in the UK. Consultant Surgeon Mr Chris Ogden has operated on over 1,500 patients using the da Vinci S.
This advanced robot cuts and manipulates tissue in the same way as a surgeon would when carrying out open surgery. But unlike the surgeon the robot does this through a tiny hole, a technique known as minimally invasive surgery or laparoscopic surgery. This can reduce the pain and blood loss caused by open surgery and minimise the patient’s hospital stay and recovery time.
The Royal Marsden’s surgical team is also able to use da Vinci's extended vision, higher magnification and 3D imagery, enabling even greater precision in their work.
Robotic surgery for bladder cancer
The robot is now being used on other tumour types, including bladder cancer under The Royal Marsden’s new Consultant Surgeon Mr Pardeep Kumar.
Mr Pardeep Kumar said: “Robotic surgery has transformed the way we perform operations on our patients. Supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity funded the da Vinci S robot six years ago initially to be used in the treatment of prostate cancer. I have expanded this to treating bladder cancer and reconstructing the urinary tract.
“This development in robotic surgery at The Royal Marsden shows that the charity is investing in pioneering equipment that will make a difference for patients now and in the future. Five years ago it would have been unheard of to use a robot to create a new bladder but thanks to the support of the charity we have the equipment and facilities to help us improve the treatment and care of our patients.”
Investing in advanced technology
Mr Chris Ogden, Consultant Surgeon at The Royal Marsden, said: “Robotic surgery is the way forward for treating cancer patients with operable tumours. We are fortunate that supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity funded the da Vinci S, and patients are still benefiting. Like all modern technology, advances in robotic surgery are very exciting, and with the charity’s support The Royal Marsden will remain at the forefront of robotic surgery’s future.”
Supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity contributed to the £2 million cost of the da Vinci S surgical robot. The money was largely raised by a fundraising event called Rock by the River – a charity auction and dinner followed by a concert by Bryan Adams and Beverly Knight.
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