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Robotic surgery introduced to help prostate cancer patients


TSCPH Dr Tim Nathan with Da Vinci robot 301017_lowresSunshine Coast men now have access to leading robotic surgical services to treat prostate cancer at The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital at Buderim.

With assistance from a generous benefactor, the hospital has invested over $3 million in the Da Vinci Xi surgical robotic system which will allow minimally invasive procedures to be conducted primarily in the field of urology.

The introduction of this service has been closely developed and implemented with support from The Wesley Hospital, which like The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital, is also part of the UnitingCare Health. The Wesley Hospital has the largest robotic program in Australia and w​as the first hospital in the country with two Da Vinci surgical robotic systems.

Urologist Dr Tim Nathan is the hospital’s lead of the robotic surgical program. Dr Nathan trained in robotic surgery at The Wesley Hospital and has been performing robotic prostatectomies (prostate removal) for the past three years.

“I have performed this procedure on two patients at the hospital last week and am confident many more patients in the Sunshine Coast community will benefit from this state-of-the-art technology over the coming months and years,” Dr Nathan said.

“Prostate cancer is a leading cause of men’s cancer in Australia with hundreds of local men affected every year and I am thrilled that members of our community can access this world-class service,” he said.

Robotic surgery is minimally invasive surgery involving the use of a computer to control surgical instruments attached to robotic arms. In the operating theatre the surgeon uses controls to move a camera and instruments inside a patient’s body. Robotic surgery enables surgeons to perform precise and delicate procedures with only small incisions.

There are many benefits from robotic surgery, as it is minimally invasive, including less post-operative pain, less blood loss, less scarring, shorter hospital stay, and faster return to normal activities for patients.

The purchase of the Da Vinci Xi robotic surgical equipment was in part made possible due to the generous bequest of a former patient and local Sunshine Coast resident, Mr Leslie Cairns.

Joining Dr Nathan in performing robotic prostate surgery will be The Wesley Hospital’s surgeon, Dr Troy Gianduzzo, who was recently awarded an Associate Professorship at the University of Queensland.

The purchase of the Da Vinci Xi surgical robotic system further strengthens The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital’s commitment to men’s health and its provision of services to treat a range of common health conditions, including both benign and malignant prostate issues.

Earlier this year, two of the hospital’s urologists, Dr Tony Gianduzzo and Dr Tim Nathan, introduced Queensland’s first robotic transperineal prostatic biopsy system, the Mona Lisa BioBot. This system enables better diagnosis, grading and treatment choices for patients with clinically significant prostate cancer.

In May 2017, a Sunshine Coast-first procedure and clinical trial for enlarged prostate was also launched at the hospital which is already yielding promising results for patients.

General Manager, Wallis Westbrook, said this was an exciting development that focuses on the needs of the Sunshine Coast community and the delivery of quality outcomes for patients.

“As a not-for-profit hospital we are committed to reinvesting surplus funds into new services that will benefit our community. We are extremely grateful to Mr Cairns for his charitable gift that has helped enable us to make robotic surgical services at the hospital a reality,” Mr Westbrook said.

“The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital is extremely proud to introduce robotic surgical services and we continue or long history of providing quality services and personalised care to the Sunshine Coast community,” he said.

The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital at Buderim has been serving the Sunshine Coast community since 1980 and is part of UnitingCare Health - one of the largest not-for-profit private hospital groups in Queensland which manages more than 1000 licensed beds across four hospitals.

Photo caption: Dr Tim Nathan, Urologist, pictured with the Da Vinci robot