Growth and Innovation

Ashford Hospital celebrates technological milestone

Less than a year since acquiring the da Vinci® Xi™ Surgical System, Ashford Hospital an ACHA hospital, managed by Healthscope, has undertaken its 100th robotic surgical case, on 1 July 2016.

With a focus on providing technological healthcare advancements Ashford Hospital offers robotic assisted surgery across a number of specialties, including urology, gynaecology, general surgery, colorectal, bariatric and otorhinolaryngology (ENT) surgery.

Paul Evans, General Manager of Ashford Hospital explains that the hospital has a strong commitment to providing patients with up-to-date treatment options that provide quality healthcare outcomes.

“We are proud to offer the most advanced robotic technology in Australia at Ashford Hospital, our robotic program has a multi-specialty platform and we are thrilled with the progress of the program and the collaborative approach from all of our surgeons,” explains Paul.

The da Vinci system provides patients with minimally invasive alternatives that reduce complications associated with conventional procedures, delivering more precise movements through its intuitive motion and ergonomic design, and a highly magnified view, virtually extending surgeons' eyes and hands.

“Key patient benefits include a shorter hospital stay, reduced blood loss, less need for pain medication, fewer complications, smaller incisions with minimal scarring and a faster recovery. It’s certainly a win-win situation for the eligible robotic patients,” explains Paul.

The first robotic surgery, a High Anterior Resection was performed by General and Colorectal Surgeon Dr Jimmy Eteuati on 28 August 2015 with subsequent surgeries being undertaken culminating in the 100th, a Robotically Assisted Mesh Ventral Rectopexy, also performed by Dr Eteuati on 1 July 2016.

Dr Eteuati explained that general and colorectal surgery is becoming established as a superior option for a number of complex procedures, where a minimally invasive approach is preferred but may be difficult with conventional laparoscopy

“The Ashford Hospital robot is a pleasure to operate, the robot is able to give improved precision of movement and the optics provides magnification of your vision in ways beyond what you cannot achieve in conventional surgery”.

“The training and introduction of the technology to the hospital and the surgeons has been well-planned and systematic. The surgical team have embraced the new technology and demonstrated their capabilities from the first case,” said Dr Eteuati.

The 100th robotic patient, Mrs Barbara Albrow has recovered well from her surgery.

“I was pleased to be able to have my surgery with the help of the robot, I have had minimal pain since the operation and have been able to get up and moving sooner. I am grateful to Dr Jimmy Eteuati and the Ashford Hospital team for their expert treatment and lovely care,” said Mrs Albrow.

The 100th robotic case coincided with the first Ashford Hospital Centre of Excellence (COE) Robotic Surgery training program, offered to colorectal surgeons, which was held from 1-2 July 2016.

“This unique course was delivered by a team of Ashford Hospital General and Colorectal Robotic Surgeons including Dr Alex Karatassas, Dr Darren Tonkin, Dr Jimmy Eteuati and Dr Christopher McDonald. Dr Craig Lynch, Robotic Colorectal Surgeon, based in Melbourne also attended to provide his expert input,” explains Paul.

The COE course was attended by five surgeons interested in commencing robotic training and will be offered again in November 2016.

Ashford Hospital have a number of robotic surgeries scheduled over the upcoming months.