UKC Ljubljana performs 1,000 robot-assisted surgeries
The UKC Ljubljana medical centre has performed a thousand robot-assisted surgeries since it first started using a robot surgery system in 2018. Hospital officials say robotic surgery has met all expectations and even surpassed them in some areas.
Robotic surgery is done using a high-tech tool, controlled by the surgeon, that allows complicated surgeries to be done through small incisions with greater precision thanks to a 10-times enlarged 3D picture. The instruments approximate human hand movements but without the shaking.
UKC Ljubljana is currently using this technology in abdominal surgery and urology, hoping to expand to gynaecology and thoracic surgery in the future, Simon Hawlina, a urology specialist at the UKC, told reporters as part of the first Ljubljana Symposium on Robotic Surgery on 9 March.
Currently the robot is used when operating on the stomach, intestine, pancreas, kidneys and bladder. The robot is used for prostate removal, where precision is necessary to preserve nerve function and the sphincter that controls the bladder, said Hawlina, adding that they were seeing very good results.
The robot-assisted surgeries result in very few complications. The good results do not go unnoticed abroad as the UKC surgeons now regularly receive invitations to attend conferences abroad. Hawlina noted this did not happen before they started using the robot technology.
An advantage of UKC Ljubljana is that surgeons of different specialities are working together under one roof. They were the first in the world to remove rectal and prostate cancers as part of the same surgery.
UKC Ljubljana is currently using the fifth generation of robot systems da Vinci. The hospital will surely purchase another robot, said Hawlina, adding that it would make sense for other major Slovenian hospitals to start using them as well.