QA sees hi-tech future come alive with £2.4m robot

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QUEEN Alexandra hospital is leading the way in using a futuristic robot that reduces operation times and enables patients to go home quicker.

Surgeons at QA are at the helm of revolutionising how surgery takes place, not only at the Cosham site, but across the country.

Members of the public visited Queen Alexandra Hospital during it's open day where they saw the new Da Vinci Robot. Surgeon Jim Khan with patient Robin Firth from North End.'''Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (132761-6)

Members of the public visited Queen Alexandra Hospital during it's open day where they saw the new Da Vinci Robot. Surgeon Jim Khan with patient Robin Firth from North End.'''Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132761-6)

At a cost of around £2.4m, the hospital has been using the Da Vinci robot, to perform surgery in five different areas.

Using the remote-controlled robot means surgeons can work more precisely and with more manoeuvrability than by using traditional surgery methods. Since May, it has been used more than 60 times.

Surgeons have 3D views and can get to hard-to-reach areas in the body, such as the prostate, oesophagus and rectum, more easily, leaving minimal scarring and pain for the patient.

The five areas the robot is being used in is upper gastrointestinal (GI), urology, colorectal, gynaecology and head and neck.

Professor Amjad Parvaiz is a consultant colorectal surgeon at QA.

He said: ‘Using it in so many areas, makes QA the only centre in the country to use the equipment for multi-disciplines. There are huge patient and staff benefits of this machine.

‘Often these operations can be lengthy. The surgeon can be standing up for a great deal of time, and can start to get achy muscles. It can take hours to work through the body before you get to, let’s say a rectum cancer, and it’s taken you four hours just to locate it.

‘That is when a surgeon is doing his most critical work, and you don’t want them to be tired. With the robot, you take all that away – the surgeon is sitting down and has better controls.

‘The robot has 360 degree movement, which means you can get to smaller places much quicker.’

Now Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT), which runs QA, is calling on the public to back its campaign to raise £2.4m and keep the robot in Portsmouth.

Ursula Ward, chief executive of PHT, said: ‘This is part of our strategic vision for the trust. We want to be leading the way in this field, and the biggest advantage we have is our specialists are trained to use the robot. And that’s also what makes us so different, we have different areas using the equipment, compared to other places. The more support we can get, then the better. We have made this investment because it’s the right thing for the patients we support, and all support would be really welcome.’