Demonstration at the launch of the surgical robotics known as the da Vinci Xi. It is the first of its kind at a public hospital in Africa. The surgical system gives a surgeon an advanced set of instruments to use in performing robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.
Demonstration at the launch of the surgical robotics known as the da Vinci Xi. It is the first of its kind at a public hospital in Africa. The surgical system gives a surgeon an advanced set of instruments to use in performing robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.

Groote Schuur Hospital becomes first public hospital in Africa to perform Robotic Surgery

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Oct 14, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Groote Schuur Hospital on Wednesday became the first public sector hospital in Africa able to perform Robotic Surgery for use in the treatment of a wide range of conditions, with the launch of the da Vinci Xi fourth generation Robot.

The System represents four generations and nearly 20 years of learning how to enhance surgical performance by creating a natural extension of the surgeon’s eyes and hands.

The da Vinci Xi can be used across a wide spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures and has been optimized for complex, multi‐quadrant surgeries. The new technology allows for minimally invasive surgery for complex diseases and conditions in gynaecology, urology, cardiothoracic, colorectal and general surgery.

Groote Schuur Hospital chief executive Dr Bhavna Patel said the facility was proud to continue innovating with this cutting-edge technology.

“This particular system is the first of its kind being used in Africa and we are the first public sector hospital to start robotic surgery in South Africa. We are proud to be able to offer our patients the benefits of these new techniques that lessen operating time, complications and hospital stay, with a quicker recovery time – all in all, a better experience pre and post operation. “

Groote Schuur Hospital Robotic Surgery Coordinator Dr Samkele Salukazana said robotic-assisted surgery has become the new standard of care as an option for minimal invasive surgical intervention.

“This new technology allows surgeons to perform many types of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than it is possible with conventional techniques. It’s initially pioneered with Urological Surgery but now it has been extended to and not limited to Colorectal, General, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Urogynaecology.

“Acquiring a robot in our institution will improve our collaborative approach to complex surgery involving many different clinical disciplines, training and of most importance functional and ensuring our patients have the best result. It is also exciting that we will match the standards and access to the latest technology to our patients as Robotic surgery has only been in the private sector for more than eight years in South Africa. We are looking forward to making this Program a success,” Salukazana said.

Congratulating the hospital, Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said: “Groote Schuur Hospital… will be the first hospital on the continent to come up with this innovation. The timing is perfect, just because after this surgery patients have a shorter hospital stay and recovery time which allows them to get home quicker to be with their families and to return to work. We are facing an insurmountable backlog but with this innovation, we have hope of catching up.”

Cape Times

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