Robotic surgery – my story
Date: 24 July 2018
Since we welcomed the da Vinci robot to the Trust last year, more than 130 prostate and kidney patients have benefitted from this state of the art technology.
Da Vinci is a surgery tool which revolutionises the care provided to patients undergoing surgery. Under the control of a highly-trained surgeon, da Vinci is able to perform complex and incredibly precise procedures.
The robot offers vision, dexterity and precision at a greater level than the human hand. And there are clear benefits for patients: people who undergo surgery by da Vinci tend to experience less pain, go home sooner and have less chance of experiencing a complication, such as a postoperative infection.
Medway is the hub of the West Kent Urology Cancer Centre, and the introduction of this innovative equipment means that prostate, kidney, and soon colorectal cancer patients across the whole area will benefit.
Here, Wigmore resident Gino Manzotti talks about his experience of robotic surgery:
“I had my annual health check last year and my PSA [prostate specific antigen] levels were high. I was referred for a biopsy and discovered I had cancer in my prostate. It was a real shock because I’d had no problems or symptoms at all. I was very fit, in fact I felt fitter than when I was 30 years old! I play golf three times a week, I go for long walks regularly, my diet is very healthy – surely there couldn’t be a problem with my prostate! But there was. Luckily the cancer was contained in my prostate and had not spread.
“I discussed my treatment options with my consultant and I did a lot of research myself. I wasn’t really keen on surgery but then Professor Matin Sheriff at Medway Hospital told me about the da Vinci robot method and it seemed like the best option for me. I liked that it wasn’t as invasive as open surgery and I was told the recovery time would be much quicker.
“I had my operation on 16 January this year. I would have been home just 24 hours later but I had to stay an extra day because of liquid in my abdomen. I was so well looked after during my stay in hospital, and the after care has been brilliant. I had very little pain and no huge scars.
“Since my diagnosis I’ve been encouraging everyone I know to have a PSA test. You just don’t know what is going on in there!
“I’ll be 70 this year, the same age as the NHS. It’s amazing to see how far surgery has come in this time – it seems crazy to think that I have been operated on by a robot.”
Surgeons who use the robot undergo two months of extensive training and are monitored by a mentor for their first few operations. While da Vinci has been benefiting prostate and kidney patients across the region, we are now expanding the range of procedures carried out by robotic surgery.
Since we welcomed the da Vinci robot to the Trust last year, more than 130 prostate and kidney patients have benefitted from this state of the art technology. Here, Medway resident Gino Manzotti talks about his experience of robotic surgery.