The first robot-assisted surgeries to treat prostate cancer in the Eastern Cape were performed by Netcare Greenacres urologists Dr Hannes Brummer and Dr Johan Coetzee this week following the installation of the Da Vinci Si robotic surgical system at the hospital.
Similar robotic systems have been installed at Netcare hospitals in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
Coetzee and Brummer have been training in South Africa and Europe to perform robot-assisted surgery.
Netcare hospital division managing director Jacques du Plessis said that after robotic surgery systems had been introduced in other provinces there had been an increased number of referrals from other provinces.
“We have now brought the technology and capacity for robotic-assisted procedures to the Eastern Cape.
“We identified a need for the intricate and highly complex interventions the Da Vinci Si system enables trained surgeons to achieve,” he said.
Netcare Greenacres Hospital general manager Andre Bothma hailed the development and the benefits it would bring for patients with localised prostate cancer. It is also used for kidney and bladder cancer surgery.
“The new technology will make it possible for trained specialists to offer our patients world-class prostate cancer treatment,” he said.
Urologist and robotic surgeon Dr Gregory Boustead, consultant adviser to Netcare hospitals, said these surgeries were the gold standard in the treatment of localised prostate cancer in Europe and the US.
The technology enabled surgeons to achieve greater surgical precision due to better visibility of the surgical site.
He said the first 500 robotic-assisted prostate surgeries at Netcare facilities had shown excellent results.
He further explained that patients are only required to stay in hospital for two to three days and complication rates were very low.