Bristol

Southmead Hospital, Bristol, gives public chance to use surgical robot

The Da Vinci robot at Southmead Hospital, Bristol
Image caption Southmead Hospital was one of the first hospitals in the UK to have the Da Vinci robot in 2009

A hospital in Bristol is allowing members of the public to try out its £1.5m surgical robot, which is so precise it can peel a grape.

Southmead's Da Vinci robot is the south west's only surgical robot used for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The urology team has carried out more than 450 robotic radical prostatectomy operations and 30 bladder removals since 2009.

The Blue September event aims to raise awareness of men's cancers.

Revolutionary robot

"This is a unique opportunity for the public, patients, staff and GPs to see for the first time how the robot works," said David Gillatt, lead clinician for urology at Southmead Hospital.

"We hope that by bringing a robot similar to our own out of the operating theatre, we can raise awareness of the advances that have been made in treating prostate cancer.

"The robot has really revolutionised the way that we treat prostate cancer and we hope to extend its use to other cancers and procedures."

Southmead Hospital was one of the first hospitals in the UK to have the Da Vinci robot in 2009.

Surgeons operate surgical instruments on the robotic arm, which means they make "smaller, more precise incisions" and the procedure is less intrusive.

Patients can recover quicker than ever before, with many discharged within 24 hours.

The Da Vinci robot will be on show at the Learning and Research Centre, Southmead Hospital, from 10:00 to 16:00 BST.

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