Robotics News

Robotic Surgery is fast becoming the norm for prostatectomy procedures in South Africa because of the precision minimum invasive benefits for patients with prostate cancer.

The Urology Hospital in Pretoria is by far the leader of this technology, having recently exceeded its 200th case in just over a year. Of these, 100 were done by our very own, Dr Lance Coetzee. Since the launch of this technology, approximately 250 cases have been done countrywide.

The Urology Hospital boasts other specialities including:
• Prostate disease management
• Male and Female urology
• Male infertility
• Bladder problems
• Paediatric urology
• Testicular Cancer
• Kidney stones

South Africa’s first robot is in Pretoria! Urologists at The Urology Hospital have recently completed the 100th successful robotic operation in only six months. This is a tremendous achievement not only for The Urology Hospital but also for South Africa.

As doctors and patients have embraced this advanced technology, robotic surgery is revolutionising the effectiveness of specialised surgery and the recovery process. At The Urology Hospital, robotic surgery patients are singing its praises. Mr PG Kemp shares about his robotic surgery experience, “ I was in ICU for 1 day (other operations require a 3-day ICU stay) and I was discharged from hospital on the 3rd day! I was quite concerned that I would not be able to be active for a while after the operation as I am a very active person but I have had no major pain since the operation and I even went on a BMW Motorbike trip down to Mosselbay 3 weeks after my Robot Surgery.”

Mr Paul Parsons elaborates on his experience, “I went into ICU after the operation (which is standard procedure) then transferred to a general ward the next morning and discharged from hospital on the fourth day. Weeks later I have no pain and have not experienced any significant discomfort. Three weeks after my operation I travelled over two days (about 1500km) to my holiday destination. I swam and walked a few times about 6 km at a time. Now after about seven weeks, I carry on with my normal activities and it still feels as if I never had major surgery. I am especially excited that I immediately had good bladder control.”

For the first time ever, Robotic Surgery is now available to South Africans via the daVinci Robotic Surgery System. The Urology Hospital is the first hospital to purchase a Robot, which cost the hospital in the region of R20million. Urologists from the hospital have been sent on stringent training in Belgium whereby they have acquired the necessary skills to operate a machine of this calibre and are fully equipped to perform operations using the daVinci Robotic System.

To date, Urologists at The Urology Hospital have performed over 50 radical prostatectomy cases, all of which have been a huge success. Patients have reported countless benefits of this surgery including shorter hospital stay, quicker healing due to the minimally invasive nature of the surgery and back to everyday normal activities in record time compared with open surgeries.

The average time spent in theatre for a Robotic Surgery case at The Urology Hospital ranges from 3 – 5 hours, with an average hospital stay (including ICU) of 3-4 days. This is remarkable as most open surgery cases would need a minimum of 6 weeks recovery before returning to work!

The cost of the surgery varies dependant on the patients individual case and the patients portion of the account is dependent on which medical aid they belong to and what plan they are on. Most medical aids pay most if not all the costs; however, some only pay a portion of the amount. For more information on what the costs are please consult your Urologist and your medical aid.

The Urology Hospital is excited to be pioneering this technology in the medical field here in South Africa and look forward to many more positive testimonies from satisfied patients who have undergone this revolutionary surgery.