Robotic surgery for prostate cancer can help more patients says RCS


Many more patients could benefit from procedures like the robotic surgery operation for prostate cancer offered at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH), a report from Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) highlights today.

'From innovation to adoption: Successfully spreading surgical innovation' says NHS patients are missing out on ground-breaking new procedures because new surgical techniques are not being adopted quickly into everyday clinical practice.

At Addenbrooke's, part of CUH, the robotically assisted radical prostatectomy operation has helped over 1300 men to receive the best cancer treatment, a record in the NHS.

In the US four out of five such operations are done using the robotic surgeon. In UK this is only approximately one out of five. Addenbrooke's was one of the first hospitals in the country to invest in da Vinci robotic system in 2006, completely funded with charitable support from Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (ACT), the dedicated charity for Addenbrooke's and the Rosie.

Professor David Neal CBE, consultant urological surgeon at CUH and professor of surgical oncology at the University of Cambridge, said: "We are delighted that robotic surgery has been so successful in the treatment of prostate cancer over the past few years. Using the da Vinci technology, patients can be back home after only a day. With the old method of open surgery the patient would be in hospital for a week or more and it could take six months before there was a full recovery.

"We would like to treat many more patients with this revolutionary type of treatment. We will continue to work closely with the RCS, NHS and other partners to provide information and evidence to support earlier adoption."

Victor Wilson, 67, from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, said: "This sort of operation is great, because the recovery is a lot quicker with a lot less risks. Unfortunately they don't have this procedure in Northern Ireland and our government will not fund my operation but I am glad that Professor Neal performed my operation."


Cambridge University Hospitals is one of the largest and best known trusts in the country. As the local hospital for our community we deliver care through Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust