First for public sector in Africa as Groote Schuur acquires new robotic surgery system
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Cape Town - Groote Schuur Hospital became a pioneer in innovation with its first-of-a kind technology to be found at a public sector hospital on the African continent.
The hospital will become the first public hospital to perform robotic surgery, as it launched the Da Vinci Xi fourth generation robot on Wednesday to be used in theatres.
The Da Vinci Xi System represents four generations and nearly 20 years of learning how to enhance surgical performance by creating a natural extension of the surgeon’s eyes and hands.
Intuitive Surgical designed the new Da Vinci Xi system with the goal of further advancing the technology used in minimally invasive surgery for complex diseases and conditions in gynaecology, urology, cardiothoracic, colorectal and general surgery.
The robotics surgery will allow for: a short hospital stay and recovery time; less pain and scarring; reduced infection and blood loss; improved visualisation due to magnified 3D imaging; and more precise surgery and improved clinical and functional outcomes.
Hospital chief executive Dr Bhavna Patel said the hospital was proud to continue innovating with this cutting-edge technology.
“The DA Vinci Xi is the first of its kind being used in Africa, and we are the first public sector hospital to start robotic surgery in South Africa. We are proud to be able to offer our patients the benefits of these new techniques that lessen operating time, complications and hospital stay, with a quicker recovery time."
The technology came at a cost of R38.7 million.
“After 20 months of Covid-19, we need things like this to uplift our staff, but also to show that we remain at the cutting edge of innovation. We are still committed to patient care that’s non-Covid-19-related.”
Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said that with a shorter hospital stay and recovery time due to this form of surgery, more patients could be accommodated at the hospital.
“The focus has been more on Covid-19, now we are in the process of phasing in non-Covid illnesses. We are facing an insurmountable backlog, but with this innovation, we have hope of catching up. I applaud the team of the hospital, well done.”
Robotic-assisted surgery had become the new standard of care as an option for minimal invasive surgical intervention, said Groote Schuur Hospital Robotic Surgery Coordinator, Dr Samkele Salukazana.
“This new technology allows surgeons to perform many types of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than is possible with conventional techniques.
“It is also exciting that we will match the standards and access to the latest technology for our state patients as robotic surgery has been in the private sector for more than eight years in South Africa. We are looking forward to making the Groote Schuur Hospital/UCT Robotic Programme a success.”