A cancer patient has become the first person to benefit from a Sheffield hospital’s new £1.8 million robotic surgery system.
Trevor Risley, aged 63, went under the knife at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital to be treated for prostate cancer – but instead of surgeons wielding the scalpel, the tricky task was carried out by the state-of-the-art da Vinci machine.
Mr Risley, who was discharged the very next day after surgery, said he thought the operation was ‘first-class’ and that so far the results have been successful.
Medics operate the robot system using a console, which controls a camera 10 times more accurate than the human eye. The machine is also fitted with specially-designed ‘wristed’ instruments attached to robotic arms.
Surgeons can perform complex operations through small incisions with precision as the system adjusts itself to compensate for the natural tremor in the human hand.
Mr Risley, from Rawmarsh, Rotherham, was diagnosed with cancer two weeks before undergoing the radical prostatectomy procedure, which involves the entire gland being removed.
“I feel so much better in myself now,” he said.
“I was walking the day after the operation, the operation was first-class and I can honestly say I felt no pain.
“I’ve got a two-inch scar on the middle of my tummy and that’s it – everything else has healed up.
“I’m so grateful to still be here. Nobody could tell me not to recommend this surgery. I can’t thank the surgeons enough.”
Mr Risley added that his levels of prostate-specific antigen – a tell-tale sign of the cancer – were now ‘the lowest they’ve ever been’ and that he is now back enjoying football training.
To date more than 20 radical prostatectomies have been performed in Sheffield using the da Vinci robot, and the equipment is planned to be used in other specialities such as gynaecology from spring next year.