Stepping Hill surgeons use robot in prostate operation

A cancer patient has become the first person in the UK to have his prostate removed using a hand-held robot.

Stuart Ellis, from Cheadle Hulme, had the operation at Stepping Hill Hospital in Greater Manchester on Friday.

The hospital said the motorised hand device offered a more precise and quicker surgical procedure.

It said it provided more flexibility than the human wrist, and also allowed more precise stitching for better recovery.

The robot, which is called the Kymerax precision-drive articulating surgical system, can also be used in gynaecology, urology and gastrointestinal surgery.

Robots - such as the Da Vinci robot - have previously been used in specialist hospitals in the UK to perform laparoscopic or keyhole surgery.

Stepping Hill Hospital said the new motorised, hand-held surgical instrument costs much less, which will enable far more use across the NHS.

'Better than wrist'

Neil Oakley, the leading urology surgeon at Stepping Hill, who undertook the operation, said: "Our team is very excited about this latest technology and it's an honour to be the first in Britain to carry out a prostatectomy using this device.

"It's the fusion of maintaining the feel and touch during an operation with the greater robotic articulation that makes it so special.

"This robot can do things not physically possibly with a human wrist and gives you the best of both worlds."

Mr Ellis, 52, a structural engineer, was diagnosed with prostate cancer last month.

He said: "My father had had it some years ago, and his father had advised him that if he had any sons to have a PSA [prostate cancer screening] test every so often, so it was picked up fairly early because of that really."

He added: "Being told you've been diagnosed with cancer is not a pleasant experience, but it's good to know something positive for other people is coming out of this.

"This illness seems to have affected so many close family and friends, it's great to feel involved in the fightback, in however small a way.

"If this means other cancer patients in the future can get quicker treatment with the most advanced technology, then I'm proud to be part of it."

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