Urologists at Mediclinic Durbanville are tapping the ground-breaking da Vinci Si HD robotic system to perform prostatectomies.

The da Vinci Surgical system was introduced to Mediclinic Durbanville to facilitate complex surgery, such as prostatectomies, using a minimally invasive approach.

In support of men’s health awareness month, Mediclinic Durbanville hosted a live broadcast at the hospital demonstrating the robot’s precision in the theatre.

The robot has mechanical wrists that bend and turn to mimic the movements of a surgeon’s hands during surgery. As the surgeon controls it, the robot operates on the patient, translating the surgeon’s hand movements into smaller, more precise movements.

The system works the same way on the inside of the patient as open surgery. The movement of the robot’s arms inside the patient’s body is a precise replica of what the surgeon does on the outside with their arms, but the movement is three times smaller on the inside. This removes any tremor that the surgeon might have.

A 10-times magnification of the inside of the body allows surgeons to see even the smallest veins and arteries, which can be seen far clearer than with the naked eye.

“The precision of the da Vinci aids the thorough removal of cancerous tissue as well as offering the ability to perform nerve sparing surgery, which enables a faster return of erectile function as well as a better chance for urinary continence,” said Urologist at Mediclinic Durbanville, Dr Gawie Bruwer.

Dr Bruwer has undertaken more than 85 of these robotic procedures.

“I firmly believe that this technology is giving patients the option of improved clinical outcomes that may not be possible with open surgery,” continued Dr Bruwer.

The keyhole surgery is less invasive, resulting a shorter hospital stay and reduced recovery time. According to Mediclinic, more than 60% of Dr Bruwer’s patients are discharged the day after surgery, which is a considerably shorter stay than traditional open surgery patients that require ICU care before being transferred to a normal ward.

In addition, robotic surgery lowers the risk of infection and the reduction in blood loss minimises the risk of blood transfusions.

“Mediclinic is focused on providing the best possible care for our patients, which includes being at the forefront of innovation,” said CEO at Mediclinic Southern Africa, Koert Pretorius.

“The da Vinci robotic system is one of many examples where our patients are benefitting from advances in technology, with their clinical outcomes proving the value of these investments,” concluded Pretorius.

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