“A new £1 million robot that will change the face of surgical procedures has arrived at the Royal Berkshire Hospital", announced my local newspaper, the Reading Evening Post!
The report continues, “The futuristic machine, named the ‘da Vinci’, arrived in 5 boxes, each weighing as much as half a ton. It will be used for urology, gynaecology and ear, nose and throat surgery before being rolled out elsewhere.
“Using the robot will allow surgeons to perform operations that can create a smaller incision as well as offering a more precise tool for complicated operations. A less invasive procedure means a shorter stay in hospital and quicker recovery.
“The da Vinci Surgical System is a robot with four arms. Three of them hold objects that act as tools, such as a scalpel or scissors and other operating instruments, and the fourth arm is for a camera with two lenses that gives the surgeon full stereoscopic vision from the console.
“The surgeon is seated at a set of controls and looks through two eye holes at a 3D image of the procedure, while manoeuvring the arms with two foot pedals and two hand controllers.
“Announcing the investment of the robot, that has cost the Trust just over £1 million, Colin Maclean, chairman of the Trust, told the governors’ meeting ‘We are investing and have invested in robot technology. This is part of the future that will allow surgeons to go in through smaller holes, cause less damage and allow the patient to leave hospital quicker. It has cost us an awful lot of money and although we started to look into this technology for the urology department, it will be used for other services as well.’
“Hospital staff are already being trained to use the robot and the first procedure is expected to take place at the beginning of November.”
“Peter Ryan, manager of the Reading & District Hospitals Charity, said, ‘At present this exciting equipment is being leased by the trust but we would welcome donations from the public, companies and other organisations in the area to help us buy the robot so as many people as possible can benefit from it in the future.’
“If anyone would like to help, they should send their donations, with a request that the money be used for robotic surgical equipment, to-
Reading & District Hospitals Charity,
The Appeal Office,
Royal Berkshire hospital,
“Cheques should be made payable to the Reading and District Hospitals Charity.”
Source: Reading Evening Post 03/10/08