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UKE performs 5,000 robot-assisted prostate operations

da Vinci surgical system lets surgeons perform more accurate operations

Surgeons at the Martini-Klinik, a private clinic of the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), have carried out the latest of 5,000 surgeries with the da Vinci robotic surgical system, a press release said Thursday. The system facilitates complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach and reducing the loss of blood. Surgeons at the Martini-Klinik, which counts among the world’s largest prostate cancer clinics in terms of the numbers of operative procedures, have been using the system since 2007.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Haese, Chief Physician and Faculty Member of the Martini-Klinik, said: “We are delighted that this robot-assisted surgical technique has been established alongside open surgery techniques and that we have been able to perform surgeries on 5,000 patients with this method. No other centre has performed as many prostate surgeries. The Martini-Klinik is the world’s largest prostate cancer clinic.”

da Vinci surgical system

The state-of-the-art da Vinci surgical system is used in hospitals worldwide for minimal invasive surgery and requires only tiny incisions. The system consists of a surgeon’s console and a patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms. Three of the arms are for tools that hold objects, and can also act as scalpels, scissors, bovies or unipolar. The instruments’ jointed-wrist design exceeds the human hand’s natural range of motion; motion scaling and tremor reduction interpret and refine the surgeon’s hand movements. The da Vinci system allows the surgeon to operate from a seat at the console, with eyes and hands positioned in line with the instruments and using the console to control the instruments and camera. The picture quality surpasses that of the human eye leading to more precise diagnoses. And so far, progress appears unlimited. Prof. Dr. Markus Graefen, Medical Director and Faculty Member of the Martin Klinik, explained: “The robot-assist prostatectomy is undergoing constant development.”

Training centre for da Vinci surgical system

The Martini-Klinik now has three robot-assisted systems and performs around 1,000 operations every year. A team of ten surgeons operates on patients from all over the world with the da Vinci-System. In 2005, Martini-Klinik founded a pan-European training centre and has trained over 100 doctors so far on how to remove the prostate with the da Vinci system.

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