Robotic surgery is coming to the town

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A Da Vinci Robot will be used by surgeons at Eastbourne DGH thanks to fundraisers.

The Friends of Eastbourne Hospitals is providing the state of the art machine which is said to take keyhole surgery to the most advanced level.

Its principle use will be for patients with prostate cancer requiring major surgery, but patients with other pelvic and colorectal cancers may also be helped in the future. Guided by the surgeon, the “robot” provides a greater degree of accuracy and precision and at the same time is much less tiring for the surgeon – both physically and mentally.

The equipment would usually cost in excess of £2 million but the Friends group secured it at just over £1 million pounds after agreeing a lease-purchase scheme and the first operation is likely to be performed in Spring 2015.

Friends chair Dr Peter Nash said fundraising to pay for the robot would begin now.

“This was too good an opportunity to miss,” he said. “While this is probably the most daunting and challenging task undertaken by the charity, the benefits will be widely felt within the community and it’s exceedingly good news for future patients of EDGH who will benefit from minimally invasive surgery with less pain and much quicker recovery times.

“This will be a major step in creating a Centre of Excellence in Eastbourne for such procedures and attract patients from afar. It will demonstrate the future of the DGH as an important hospital secured for the foreseeable future. The local community has been very generous in supporting all of the Friends’ projects in the past and I hope they will continue to so to enable us to complete the purchase in the shortest time possible.”

Urologist Steve Garnett said, “This brings cutting-edge surgical technology. The Robot will enable more precise keyhole surgery with better outcomes for patients, allow shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery and better cancer outcomes.”