Robots to assist Scots prostate cancer surgery

Scottish Government pledged �2 million after fundraising effort by Prostate Scotland. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Scottish Government pledged �2 million after fundraising effort by Prostate Scotland. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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ROBOTS could be assisting with prostate cancer surgery in Scotland within the next two years.

The Scottish Government has pledged £2 million to a fundraising effort by Prostate Scotland to purchase two robots to assist with surgery in the east and west of Scotland.

The surgery will be performed by a surgeon operating the robot, utilising keyhole technology.

During the 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.

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

The funding follows on from the Scottish Government’s investment of up to £1 million to support UCAN, the urological cancer charity in the north east, to help NHS Grampian purchase a robot to be located in Aberdeen by October.

Prostate Scotland chairman Robert Wilson said: “This will bring our target of raising £2.86 million very much closer and this wonderful support from the Scottish Government will also be very helpful in enabling us to access funding and support from other funders.”

Professor Alan McNeill, consultant urological surgeon at Western General Hospital and trustee of Prostate Scotland, said: “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.

“The support of the Scottish Government underlines the importance and value of this initiative. Many thousands of men and their families will benefit significantly from this.”

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