A surgical robot has been introduced at Southend Hospital, which will be used for surgeries on urology patients.
The surgeries will be used for the treatment of cancer, as well as disease of the kidneys, bladder and prostate.
Surgeons at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust will be using the da Vinci Xi system, which was installed earlier this month.
The device works by translating the surgeon’s hand movements in real time, meaning the arm can be manipulated to bend and rotate the surgical instruments during a procedure.
Mohamed Abd Alazeez, consultant urologist, robotic Surgeon and robotic Lead at the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The new Xi robot has arms that can manoeuvre surgical instruments more easily around the patient, allowing us to carry out procedures on those with more complex anatomy and improve their care.
“Having a second robot means patients spend less time waiting to have their cancer surgery. We performed nearly 300 robotic prostatectomy, 100 robotic cystectomy and 65 robotic renal operations last year, and with the new Xi system we expect these figures to double.
“The additional machine also provides more opportunities for our surgeons to carry out new and pioneering operations, showing that we are a leading centre for cancer treatment.”
Due to the precise nature of the instruments, smaller and more exact incisions can be made, according to the trust, which added that this cuts down patient recovery time.
What’s more, patients also spend less time under anaesthetic with the new machine.
Andrew Pike, chief operating officer at the trust, added: “This is the second surgical robot at Southend Hospital, while we also have a machine at Broomfield Hospital, meaning that more patients across mid and south Essex can receive advanced treatments.
“This will help us to drive down our cancer waiting lists and care for patients in need of urology procedures.”
The primary use for the robot is currently urology procedures, though the trust has said it plans to also use robot-assisted surgery to treat gynaecology and colorectal conditions in the future.