Netcare expands robotic-assisted surgeries

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 20 Dec 2023
Doctors at Netcare Milpark Hospital use the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system to perform colorectal surgery.
Doctors at Netcare Milpark Hospital use the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system to perform colorectal surgery.

Private hospital group Netcare has added the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system for colorectal robotic-assisted procedures at its Milpark hospital.

Netcare’s national robotics programme now includes colorectal, urology, urogynaecology and cardiothoracic surgical applications.

In a statement, Netcare says the robotic-assisted colorectal surgery programme brings advances of minimally invasive treatment options to the Johannesburg Netcare Milpark Hospital.

According to Dr Richard Friedland, CEO of Netcare, the private healthcare group is investing in equipment such as the flagship da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system alongside its Netcare group-wide digitisation programme.

“Technology is not merely a nice-to-have in healthcare; where there is a compelling benefit for patients, it becomes imperative,” says Friedland.

Dr Daniel Surridge, a colorectal surgeon specialising in minimally invasive techniques, recently completed robotic-assisted procedures for the treatment of rectal and colon cancers, including removal of a lymph node and pelvic floor repair surgery for prolapse.

“We congratulate Dr Daniel Surridge on successfully completing the extensive training and proctor surgeries to achieve accreditation to operate with the advanced da Vinci Xi robotic system,” adds David Stanton, general manager of Netcare Milpark Hospital.

“Making the leap from laparoscopic surgery to robotic-assisted approach, I have found the level of detail this system allows amazing. There is so much more we can do for colorectal conditions with incredible precision: ‘precision surgery’ is what the robotic system is about,” says Surridge.

“I recently returned from the 17th European Colorectal Congress in St Gallen, Switzerland, where international colleagues presented excellent results and discussed the profound differences this kind of robotic surgery has made to patients.

“The impact this technology is having in our field of medicine is mind blowing, tangibly demonstrated in the statistics on quicker discharge home after surgery; patients are mobile and able to get on with their normal lives sooner. In addition, the literature shows that patients report considerably less postoperative discomfort.

“With less blood loss and fewer complications, people spend less time in hospital after colorectal robotic-assisted procedures. The bigger picture presented in the international statistics indicates considerable cost efficiencies associated with robotic-assisted procedures,” he explains.

According to Surridge, the robotic system cannot perform surgery nor do anything independently; rather its every movement is controlled by the skilled surgical team. The da Vinci Xi performs additional safety checks, further complimenting the surgeon’s skill.

“The patient is left with only tiny punctures in the skin, where the very slender instruments far more agile than the human hand pierce the skin to access the surgical site deep within the body. The three-dimensional high-definition imaging shows each tiny nerve and blood vessel with exceptional clarity for enhanced precision,” he adds.

“We thank Dr Surridge for pursuing da Vinci Xi accreditation and mastering the latest technology and developments in colorectal surgery for the benefit of our patients. The establishment of the new unit aims to provide the optimal environment for people requiring such procedures in South Gauteng and surrounding provinces,” Stanton concludes.