VIDEO: David Dimbleby welcomes robotic surgeon to Eastbourne hospital

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A state of the art surgical robot which carries out life saving key hole surgery cut its own opening ribbon this week with a little help from veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby.

The da Vinci robot has been at the hospital for some time after being provided by the Friends of the Hospitals charity.

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It has already performed operations but an official ceremony to welcome it was held by the trust which runs the hospital on Wednesday this week with Mr Dimbleby, who lives locally.

The da Vinci surgical robot is a multi million pound machine which is at the cutting edge of advanced technology for the treatment of patients requiring major prostate cancer surgery and other procedures.

It was provided after the Friends struck a deal and secured the machinery at a cost of just over £1million on a lease-purchase scheme with CHG-Meridian.

Its principal use is 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 news of the arrival was welcomed particularly as experts say it is a real vote of confidence in the often troubled DGH.

Consultant urologist Steve Garnett said on Wednesday, “This brings cutting-edge surgical technology to the DGH and is a fantastic development for patients from Eastbourne and beyond. Starting with prostate cancer surgery the robot enables more precise keyhole surgery with better outcomes for patients.

“It allows shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery and better cancer outcomes.”

Mr Dimbleby paid tribute to the Friends charity which is now fundraising to pay for the surgical robot.

“This really is fantastic for Eastbourne and good news for patients and surgeons,” said Mr Dimbleby.

“it is also a wonderful gesture by the Friends of the Hospital.”

The surgical robot is the friends’ 2015 special project.

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