Buy Addenbrooke’s A Robot: Support our £1.5m campaign to improve surgery for patients
The Cambridge Independent has joined forces with Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) to launch the £1.5million ‘Buy Addenbrooke’s a Robot’ Appeal.
Our campaign will help fund a surgical robot for the Cambridge hospital to improve the lives of patients.
A new surgical robot will mean quicker, less invasive surgery and faster healing and recovery times for patients.
Robotic surgery is a form of keyhole surgery involving small incisions. Surgeons are able to operate on patients by controlling a computer-controlled robot, mimicking the surgeon’s hands and wrist movements to allow absolute precision.
The benefits of robotic surgery for patients are immense and can change patients’ lives.
While it can take months to recover from traditional ‘open’ surgery, incisions made using robotic surgery are much smaller, reducing the risk of complications and infection, minimising scarring, pain and discomfort and helping patients recover and return home more quickly.
Following robot-assisted surgery, patients can be discharged from hospital within a matter of days, not weeks.
Editor Paul Brackley said: “We are proud to be working with Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust on this important new appeal.
“Addenbrooke’s currently has just one surgical robot, which is used to help kidney, bladder and prostate cancer patients. With our readers’ help, this appeal will fund another surgical robot capable of revolutionising patient care across six specialities at Addenbrooke’s.”
One of the speciality areas that will benefit is head and neck surgery, which can be very invasive and where some tumours are difficult to reach.
A surgeon operating a robot would be able to access the tumour through the mouth meaning that patients regain the ability to swallow much more quickly, have minimal scarring, can eat and drink without help, and need less ongoing treatment following their operation.
Ekpemi Irune, ENT, head and neck consultant at Addenbrooke’s, said: “Head and neck cancer surgery can be very invasive. Sometimes a tumour in the back of the mouth or throat cannot be easily reached so the surgeon may have to split a patient’s jaw so they can get to the tumour.
“The patient has to recover in hospital for several days and they can go on to develop long-term problems with bone healing, chronic pain, etc. This can be very distressing for patients. A surgical robot would be able to access tumours through the mouth with precision.”
Consultant in gynaecological oncology, Krishnayan Haldar, said: “Using robotic assisted surgery has an advantage over current laparoscopic surgery, because it can help us to provide much finer dissection. For example, the surgeon can preserve the nerves to the bladder and bowel during a radical hysterectomy – a nerve sparing procedure.
“The results are much better for the patient’s quality of life post-surgery, and it has been proven that, post-surgery, pain is reduced because the movement and pulling of skin around the entry point is reduced. Some patients can be discharged on the same day; having a hysterectomy in the morning and leaving the hospital that evening because the incision is so small.”
Shelly Thake, ACT’s CEO, added: “We hope we can once again call upon our incredible supporters to get behind our new robot appeal. With the pressures caused by Covid, the hospital needs our help to get its surgical programme moving again and to deliver the quickest, safest surgery possible.
“The robot will enable surgeons and their teams to operate on more patients, from people with pancreatic cancer to gynaecology patients, enabling them to recuperate faster and get home to their families more quickly.”
The Cambridge Independent is featuring a series of articles and interviews in the coming months exploring the benefits of robotic surgery. If you are going to support the appeal with a fundraiser, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more, donate or fundraise at helpyourhospital.co.uk/robot.
And don’t forget to let us know if you are fundraising, and we will help spread the word - email email@example.com.