Robot operates on patient at Queen Alexandra Hospital

TREATMENT The Da Vinci robot
TREATMENT The Da Vinci robot

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PIONEERING surgery using a robot to remove a cancerous growth has taken place at Queen Alexandra Hospital today.

Clifford Coote, 73, of Emsworth, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in March this year, after his wife Judith, 71, encouraged him to go for regular screenings.

He is the first patient to be operated on using a new piece of kit called the Da Vinci robot – money for which is being raised by The Rocky Appeal.

Although all the funds haven’t been gathered yet, QA has already got the robot.

As previously reported, the robot can perform keyhole surgery which means surgeons will be able to look inside a patient without having to cut into them.

The machine iscontrolled by specially trained consultants, which covers a range of surgical specialities including colorectal, head and neck, urology and gynaecology patients.

Mr Coote, a former army major, said: ‘I can’t praise the NHS and QA enough for the way they have handled this.

‘I am feeling apprehensive, but I am optimistic about it at the same time.

‘I’m looking forward to being cured by this machine and feel very fortunate to have a chance at this.

‘Men are stupid about their health and I am a prime candidate.

‘We all believe we are invincible but we are not.

‘It was because of my incredibly sensible wife that did this.’

The three-hour procedure wasperformed by consultant surgeon Professor Amjad Parvaiz.

He said: ‘This exciting arrival for Portsmouth patients will ensure they benefit from this minimally invasive technology, which has the added benefit of improving their rate of recovery and reducing the length of stay in hospital.

‘In ‘traditional’ open surgery, the surgeon makes an incision into the body and operates using hand-held instruments, viewing the anatomy on a standard video monitor.

‘However, with the Da Vinci robot, a highly-trained surgeon will be seated at a console and view a magnified, high-resolution 3D image of the surgical site.’

The surgery is due to be broadcast to surgeons from around the world, who have gathered at Action Stations, in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

More than £262,000 has been raised to secure the robot, but a further £2.25m is still needed.

For more information on the appeal, call Mr Mick Lyons on (023) 9228 6487 or email mick.lyons@porthosp.nhs.uk.