Design firm raises £9k for Scotland’s first prostate “robot” surgeon

THE work of a pioneering robot which can carry out super-delicate keyhole surgery on cancer patients in the north east has been boosted by a £9,000 donation from a group of North Sea design experts.

The robotically-assisted surgery system at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Staff at Proserv in Aberdeen and Aberdeeshire have spent the last 12 months raising funds for urological cancer charity UCAN, which recently brought Scotland’s first robotically-assisted surgical system to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The Scottish Government helped to seal UCAN’s bid to secure the equipment and gave £1million towards the kit.

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Now employees at Proserv have done their bit, with a recent 30-mile off road cycle through Deeside topping off its fundraising year.

Staff at oil and gas techology firm Proserv have raised £9,000 to develop the work of Scotland's first robotically-assisted surgica lsystem which is at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

A spokesman for Proserv said the charity’s work “struck a chord” with its predominately male workforce.

Stephen Cox at Proserv said: “These pioneering robotic systems are the next step in keyhole surgery and as a company that develops next generation technology for the offshore industry, we were keen to help UCAN support patients by providing the latest innovations to support those in need of a specialised operation.

“A lot of effort went in throughout the year from staff across all our bases in the North East of Scotland.

“It is a privilege to be able to support such a worthwhile organisation that raises awareness of urological cancers and helps to improve the support and quality of life for individuals and families who are affected by them.”

The recent sponsored cycle from Braemar to Blair Atholl involved 20 members with the challenge - which passed through Linn of Dee, White Bridge and Glen Tilt -taking the team around six hours to complete.

Justine Royle, chair of UCAN, said: “We would like to thank everyone at Proserv for their efforts in raising funds and awareness of our charity. The robotic system is an incredibly advanced piece of medical equipment and the technology involved is similar to that used every day in the oil and gas industry. It is now in place and making a real difference to the lives of many people in the north of Scotland.”

Robotically-assisted surgery is currently widely used across the USA and Europe, with around 40 systems in use in England.

It is particularly beneficial for patients with three of the most common cancers - prostate, bowel and bladder – as well as gynaecological cancers and non-malignant conditions. It will also be used in other specialities such as general surgery, ENT, cardiac and paediatric surgery.