The future of surgery has arrived at Cairns Private Hospital.
Across the great divide of art and science, Leonardo da Vinci’s legacy lives on in everything from painting and engineering to architecture and anatomy.
So it is entirely fitting that one of the medicine’s most advanced surgical robots - now available for the first time in Cairns - is named after him.
Cairns Private Hospital is now home to the da Vinci Xi Surgical Robot System, allowing minimally invasive surgical procedures to be conducted in a range of areas such as urology, gynaecology, ENT, colorectal and general surgery.
The robotic system negates the need for local patients to travel to Brisbane where similar procedures are performed.
The surgical robot is a great leap forward for patients, delivering procedures that result in less pain, shorter stays in hospital, and lower risk of infection.
As just one example, patients who have undergone a radical prostatectomy using the da Vinci ® Surgical System can expect to leave hospital in just 1-2 days and return to normal daily activities within six weeks.
As with all da Vinci Surgical Systems, the surgeon is 100% in control of the robotic-assisted da Vinci System.
The robot “translates” the surgeon’s hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body.
The Xi System’s immersive 3D-HD vision system provides surgeons a highly magnified view, virtually extending their eyes and hands into the patient.
Surgeons using the robotic system can perform complex procedures using keyhole surgery, needing incisions of less than 1cm compared to an incision of up to 25cm for a traditional radical prostatectomy.
In the United States, over 80% of all radical prostatectomies are currently performed using this technology.
While Cairns urologists have been performing robotic surgery for prostate cancer for many years in Brisbane, the introduction of a local service in Cairns means more specialists in areas like gynaecology and colorectal surgery will start to use the robot too.
In the immediate term, the da Vinci Xi Surgical System is key to expanding urological services in Cairns.
Urologist Dr Stefan Antoniou, who works at both Cairns Private Hospital and Cairns Hospital, said the technology would be beneficial to prostate cancer patients who currently need to travel great distances for treatment.
“The da Vinci prostatectomy is an innovative technology that offers extraordinary benefits to patients and has revolutionised the treatment for prostate cancer,” Dr Antoniou said.
“The da Vinci Surgical Robot System enables urologists to operate in the difficult to get to lower pelvis through very small incisions with unmatched precision in a 3D environment.
It is very effective and the least invasive surgical approach to prostate cancer treatment.”