SOUTH AFRICA – The Urology Hospital in Pretoria has acquired a second da Vinci robot becoming the first hospital on the African continent to reach that milestone.

This comes as it celebrated 3,500 robotic procedures having acquired the first surgical robot in 2013.

The hospital consistently combines state-of-the-art technology with the unparalleled expertise of its specialists.

“Robotic-assisted radical prostatectomies have become the standard of care for patients undergoing prostate cancer-related surgery,” said Dirk Ligthelm, urologist and robotic surgeon at The Urology Hospital said.

“The biggest advantage is the precision with which the surgery can be performed, using the new da Vinci fourth generation robot. It remains a wonderful experience to be part of the robotic team that has pioneered robotic surgery in South Africa.”

The da Vinci X fourth-generation robot enables a broader reach than previous generations and can comfortably perform a range of complex procedures allowing more patients to benefit from its upgraded technology.

The system allows for greater operating precision, and easier access to difficult areas with improved magnification and three-dimensional (3D) viewing.

“Our robotic-assisted prostate surgery is advantageous to our patients as it reduces levels of post-operative side effects such as incontinence and impotence significantly compared to conventional open surgery,” said Coetzee.

“It is minimally invasive, reduces blood loss, lowers the risk of infection, and allows the patient to recover more quickly with a shorter hospital stay. We look forward to training more young surgeons with the new robot for continued surgical innovation and maximising patient care.”

Robotic technology is constantly evolving and changing the face of prostate cancer treatment in South Africa.

This new robot provides better vision and greater precision during robotic prostatectomies and partial nephrectomies, greatly benefiting patients as the smaller instruments allow for ease of work in smaller areas, said Lance Coetzee, urologist and robotic surgeon at The Urology Hospital.

Globally cancer is the second leading cause of death, with nearly one in six deaths and more than 1.4 million new prostate cancer cases by 2020.

Prostate cancer tops the list of five most invasive cancers among South African men, with one in 15 at risk as reported by Cansa (NCR 2019).

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