The Rocky Appeal raises £1m for latest fundraiser

From left,uUrology consultants Richard Bell and Daniel Wilby with Mick Lyons next to the Da Vinci robot ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151200-1751)
From left,uUrology consultants Richard Bell and Daniel Wilby with Mick Lyons next to the Da Vinci robot ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151200-1751)

Village Gym Week One

  • Donations to keep Da Vinci robot at QA hits £1m
  • Another £1.4m is still needed to secure its future
  • Robot means patients need less time to recover from major surgery
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THE Rocky Appeal is one step closer to keeping a surgical robot in Portsmouth after hitting the £1m mark.

Thanks to the massive fundraising efforts of thousands of people, the charity has hit a milestone in its bid to secure the Da Vinci robot for Queen Alexandra Hospital.

It’s of massive benefit to patients and I’m chuffed we have raised £1m

Mick Lyons, Rocky Appeal coordinator

And to add another string to the bow, QA is now able to offer bladder surgery with the robot.

Mick Lyons, appeals co-ordinator, said: ‘This is brilliant news and, as ever, it’s the generosity of people which helps us to achieve this.

‘We still have some way to go as we need another £1.4m to make sure we can keep it here.

‘It’s a marvellous piece of kit and revolutionises the way keyhole surgery is performed.

‘And as we’re the only centre on the south coast to offer this, we are putting Portsmouth on the map.

‘It’s of massive benefit to patients and I’m chuffed we have raised £1m.’

Money has been raised through a combination of events, such as sponsored walks and dinners, as well as people donating directly to the appeal.

Using the remote-controlled robot means surgeons can work more precisely and with more manoeuvrability than by using traditional methods.

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, urology, colorectal, gynaecology and head and neck.

And now two consultants have joined the team to perform cystectomies – removal of the bladder.

Daniel Wilby and Richard Bell are both consultant urological surgeons who have been using the robot.

Mr Bell said: ‘Removing the bladder is a major operation and a major decision to make for the patient.

‘You can spend up to 10 days in hospital after the operation and take up to three months to recover.

‘With the robot patients can go home within the week, it’s less likely transfusions will be needed and you don’t need to cut the patient open so there are fewer scars. The recovery time is better for patients, which is always great news.

‘Reaching £1m is fantastic and I support the appeal.’

To find out more about the appeal and how to donate, call Mick on (023) 9228 6487 or email mick.lyons@porthosp.nhs.uk