Prostate cancer surgery robots given £2m boost

Surgery Image copyright Thinkstock

Robots could be helping perform prostate cancer surgery in Scotland within the next two years.

Prostate Scotland's goal to buy two robots for Scotland has been given a £2m funding boost from the Scottish government.

Robots enable surgeons to perform intricate procedures with minimum impact on patients.

It is hoped using the robots will lead to more operations being performed in this manner in "centres of excellence".

Robotics allows a level of surgical precision not available in standard keyhole surgery, making complex manoeuvres easier.

During the innovative prostate procedure, the surgeon sits close to the patient, remotely operating the four surgical "arms" of the robot from a console.

The surgeon views the operation through a video monitor.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of the disease in Scotland.

The charity Prostate Scotland needs to raise £2.86m in total to purchase the robots.

'Thousands will benefit'

Its chairman Robert Wilson said the Scottish government money would help enable the charity to access other funds and encourage others to donate.

Prof Alan McNeill, a consultant urological surgeon at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh and a trustee of Prostate Scotland, added: "The case for minimal access prostate cancer surgery is undeniable and wider availability of robot-assisted surgery will ensure that a greater number of surgeons can be trained to deliver this type of surgery in high volume centres of excellence.

"There is clear and strong evidence that having minimal access surgery performed with a dedicated team of very experienced surgeons offers the optimum way to deliver this important treatment and ensure the best outcomes for patients.

"Many thousands of men and their families will benefit significantly from this."

Last year, the Scottish government announced it would give up to £1m in funding to the north east urological charity UCAN and NHS Grampian's joint bid to buy a similar robot for Aberdeen.

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