Robotic assisted prostate surgery service launches

Health Secretary Shona Robison, today (9 November 2016) launched a pioneering robotic surgery service for patients with prostate cancer at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

The robotic technology will treat patients from across the south east of Scotland and has been jointly funded by Prostate Scotland, the Scottish Government and health boards from the SCAN (South East Scotland Cancer Network) regional network.
The £1.4m da Vinci SI Surgical System, which is operated by trained consultants, has already helped to save the lives of 50 men with prostate cancer since its introduction in July this year.
Around 180 operations will be carried out on patients from the south east of Scotland every year using the robotic service.
Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Scottish Government, said: “Robotically assisted prostate cancer surgery is a vitally important service for men as it has been shown to shorten the length of stay and period needed to recover following treatment. This enables men to go back to life as normal as soon as possible.

"This is why the Scottish Government provided £3 million pounds of funding for the purchase of robots in the north, west and, now, south east of Scotland. The launch of this service reflects the aims and ambitions of our cancer strategy, which include seeing a reduction in cancer health inequalities, an improvement in experience and quality of life and ensuring there is more equitable access to services and treatment.
“I very much look forward to when this service is fully up and running, improving the lives of all men with prostate cancer in Scotland.”
Brian Houston, Chair, NHS Lothian, said: “Today is a very special day for men with prostate cancer in the south east of Scotland, as it heralds the launch of this innovative new surgical service.
“This service allows us to continue to deliver state-of-the-art cancer surgery for men with prostate cancer and ensures that the Western General Hospital remains at the forefront of developments in cancer surgery across Scotland.”
The launch also marks the successful conclusion of the Prostate Scotland Blue Horizon Robot Appeal, which has reached its £2.8m target to support the introduction of robot assisted prostate cancer programmes in the East and West of Scotland.
Robert Wilson, Chair, Prostate Scotland, said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Scotland. It is therefore great news that now men in the East and South of Scotland have access to robot assisted surgery for prostate cancer.
“Prostate Scotland welcomes this significant step forward in treatment options. We are very pleased to have been able, through our Blue Horizon Robot Appeal, to have reached our target of raising £2.8m to support robotically-assisted prostate cancer surgery in the east and west of Scotland, including towards the purchase of the robot for the service in the east and south of Scotland.
“Sincere thanks to all our supporters and donors without whom this could not have been achieved. Together with our partners the Scottish Government and the health boards we have enabled men in Scotland to have access to the most up-to-date surgery for prostate cancer.”
Professor Alan McNeill, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Western General Hospital, NHS Lothian, said: “The introduction of the service will ensure that men undergoing surgery for prostate cancer benefit from the latest technological advances.
“The technology means patients can go back to the ward without the need for drips or morphine. They’re able to eat and drink the same evening and most can get up the next day and shower themselves.
“In general, patients are discharged from hospital within a couple of days and return to a fully active life within four weeks. By training a team of surgeons to use the robotic system we will be able to offer the benefits of minimal access surgery to more men within a shorter timeframe.”