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Nepean Hospital's urology team using the da Vinci robot to perform a prostatectomy.*

Robot surgery results in rapid recovery

13 Dec 2021

 

Advancements in robotic technology at Nepean Hospital are slashing recovery times and getting patients safely home from hospital much sooner, days after major surgery.

For close to a decade Nepean Hospital has been home to the state-of-the-art da Vinci robot that allows surgeons to perform complex surgeries through keyhole incisions. Using the da Vinci robot the Hospital recently performed its 1000th robot-assisted prostatectomy procedure.


Surgeons have used the robot to help reduce the average length of hospital stay for a prostatectomy from 8 days to just 1.3 bed days


As the first public hospital in NSW to pioneer the da Vinci robot technology, Nepean Hospital surgeons have used the robot to help reduce the average length of hospital stay for a prostatectomy from 8 days to just 1.3 bed days. This has resulted in a massive saving of 7000 bed days at Nepean Hospital since 2012 – allowing more patients to access lifesaving care at Nepean.

While it was first used to treat prostate cancer, the Nepean Hospital robot is now also used by other departments including the Ear, Nose and Throat, Colorectal and Gynaecology teams.

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The da Vinci robot in use, allowing trained surgeons to perform the most complex of procedures with key precision.*

Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Director of Innovation and Strategy, Professor Mohamed Khadra AO says the reduced length of hospital stay from robotic-assisted surgery is one of many huge advantages for the patient.

“Due to the precision of the technology you are able to reach areas of the body that are far more difficult to access by traditional means,” says Professor Khadra who is also the Clinical Director of Surgery at Nepean Hospital.

“As a result there is a dramatic decrease in blood loss during surgery. This allows the patient to experience less pain, recover faster and get back to things they love doing.”


This allows the patient to experience less pain, recover faster and get back to things they love doing


Nepean Hospital and its Centre for Robotic Surgery has continued to remain at the forefront of surgical advancement in Australia and the world by training the next generation of surgeons skilled in robotics. Upwards of 100 surgeons have completed the District’s robotics programme in the last decade and are now working across NSW.

In 2019, the Hospital’s reputation as leaders in robotic technology saw them join the European Association of Urology Robotic Urology Section (ERUS). This prestigious accolade - Nepean Hospital one of only two sites outside of Europe to be given membership – recognises the high standard of training delivered to registrars.  

Through its association with ERUS, Nepean Hospital aims to attract international fellows to work within the District to help foster collaborations with other globally recognised institutions.

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Professor Mohamed Khadra AO supervising his team during a prostatectomy.*

In discussing the future of robotic-assisted surgery, Professor Khadra explains that opportunities to improve the technology and treatments are near endless.

“Minimal invasive surgery is fast becoming the new standard of care around the world. It truly is the next evolution of health care,” says Professor Khadra.

“These instruments are providing a real world, three dimensional view of the patient’s body. Their reach and mobility are often steadier than the human hand allowing the most complex of surgeries to be performed more safely and effectively.”

*Archived photos taken at Nepean Hospital prior to COVID restrictions.