Hospital robotics showcase delights and inspires the next generation

Sixth-form students from Kent College got to try their hand at operating a surgical robot at Kent and Canterbury Hospital last week.

Urology Consultant Mr Milan Thomas and representatives from the robot’s manufacturer Intuitive hosted a showcase event in the hospitals’ outpatients department, presenting the ’da Vinci’ robot to the delight of local students and patients.

Visitors to the showcase included patients, sixth-form students from Kent College, Canterbury and medical school students from King’s College, London.

Two previous patients of the Trust also attended the event, both of whom were treated within the past five weeks.

Event visitors were given a chance to operate the machine for themselves by playing games to highlight the co-ordination, concentration and control required in surgery. For two patients treated recently, this gave a whole new perspective on their surgeries.

Eamonn McGettrick said; “I was delighted to be invited to view the fantastic equipment - It was fun to have a turn on the controls and marvel at the technology.

“It was also an opportunity for me to meet and personally thank members of the team who operated on me five weeks ago.

“I cannot fault the care, kindness and attention that I received throughout my stay at Kent & Canterbury for which I am very grateful. Top marks to the NHS.”

The da Vinci robot has been in operation at Canterbury for over seven years.

It is used for treating urological conditions of the prostate, kidney, bladder and urinary system.

Handled by experienced surgeons, the robot allows specialists to operate in a very small space with incredible mobility and precision. The tiny initial incision combined with the reduction of damage to the treated area and surrounding tissues is great for patients as it means they don’t need as much time to recover as previously seen in these surgeries.

Kent and Canterbury Hospital is one of just five specialist training centres in the UK for robotic urology surgery.