PATIENTS with cancer are recovering more quickly after surgeons at Southend Hospital started to use pioneering robotic equipment to treat certain conditions for the first time.
Consultant Urologist and Robotic Surgeon Matteo Massanova, was the first in the east of England to carry out a complex operation to remove lymph nodes using a robotic device, shaped like an arm.
He explained: “Traditionally we would have performed open surgery to remove these lymph nodes, where an incision is made from the top of your tummy to below the belly button.
“The robotic platform is a fantastic tool because we can now carry out a minimally invasive procedure, with only a few incisions that are much smaller. This means that our patients can recover much more quickly and get back to normal activities sooner.
“This is a complex and rare procedure, and so we expect to treat between five and ten patients each year who no longer have to travel to other centres, such as in London.”
The device is regularly used by urologists in operations for prostate, bladder, or kidney cancer, but now patients with other forms of cancer can benefit from the technology.
Mr Massanova performed the first operation on Beryl Waxler, 79, from Southend, who could be sent home the following day, and just three weeks later was already back to daily activities.
Ms Waxler said: “I’ve had open surgery before, but this time I got better much more quickly thanks to the keyhole approach. I wasn’t in any pain afterwards, and I was soon back on my feet.
“I’m now regularly out for walks with my husband, while I visit the gym as well as going swimming.
“I’ve even ordered an exercise bike, so I can keep up my fitness at home and have thought about going to London for the King’s Coronation.”
Picture: Surgeon Matteo Massanova and the robotic platform.
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