The first European Robotic Gynaecological Epicentre is Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), performing procedures using sophisticated robots.
The hospital performed its first robotic surgery in Great Britain and Ireland in 2007 and established its gynaecological robotic programme in 2008.
While there are three other epicentres in Europe which perform either benign or cancer procedures, CUMH is the first in a position to offer both.
“Cork’s success as a training centre for robotic surgery is down to the enthusiasm and drive of our clinicians and is a great example of the benefits of the HSE and UCC working in real partnership to ensure that our combined facilities and expertise can match the best in the world,” said Prof John Higgins, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at UCC/CUMH and head of UCC’s College of Medicine and Health.
Higgins also congratulated Dr Barry O’Reilly, consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at CUMH on the awarding of funding for the provision of the first international Fellowship in Robotic Pelvic Floor Reconstructive Surgery. O’Reilly, along with Dr Lorenzo Dutto from Rome, will investigate robotic surgery for female prolapse.
The da Vinci Surgical System
The hospital uses a robotic platform called the da Vinci Surgical System to perform complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach.
It has a high-resolution 3D stereo viewer offering high magnification, improved colours and a more natural depth of field.
After making a few small incisions, the surgeon uses the console’s master controls to manoeuvre the patient-side cart’s four robotic arms.
These arms hold the instruments and the endoscopic camera. They feature a jointed-wrist design which goes beyond a human hand’s natural range of motion. The arms also include motion scaling and tremor reduction to increase the accuracy of the surgery.
The da Vinci Surgical System also has multiple safety features to minimise the risk of human error compared with traditional surgery methods.
According to CUMH, benefits of the robotic surgery include less pain and scarring, reduced risk of infection, reduced blood loss, fewer transfusions and faster recovery time.