2 July 2024

New robot enables more patients to have less invasive prostate surgery

A state-of-the-art surgical robot, recently installed at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is enabling even more patients with prostate cancer to benefit from less invasive surgery and shorter recovery time.

Dr David Yates and the surgical team with the Da Vinci Xi robot.

Introduced in May 2024 at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, the Da Vinci Xi robot allows surgeons to perform intricate, minimally invasive procedures with greater precision from a sophisticated robotic platform. The new robot expands the range of patients eligible for robotic surgery, involving smaller incisions and quicker recovery times compared to traditional open surgery.

Among the first patients to benefit from the new robot was 71-year-old Trevor Palay from Sheffield who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Reflecting on his experience, Trevor shared:

“I go every year for a cholesterol check due to my diabetes and the nurse suggested a PSA test as well. Although I didn’t have any symptoms of prostate cancer, I decided to take the test because a friend had recently undergone a prostate procedure. The results showed elevated PSA levels, so I was referred to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital for more tests.”

Following a scan and biopsy, Trevor was initially diagnosed with a low-risk form of prostate cancer and placed under a treatment approach known as ‘active surveillance’ where the tumour is monitored regularly and only requires further treatment if it grows. However, after seven years of regular monitoring, a biopsy revealed the cancer had begun to grow and he was given the treatment options of radiotherapy or a radical prostatectomy, which is a surgery to remove the prostate gland.

“I opted for the surgery and as soon as I said that everything started to happen. I was quickly put on a waiting list and was offered the surgery within two months of being diagnosed.”

Under the care of Consultant Urologist Dr David Yates, Trevor underwent a robot-assisted radical prostatectomy using the newly installed Da Vinci robot.

“I had only met Dr Yates once, but I’d done some research and was impressed that he’d already done over 1,000 procedures like this before. During the pre-op we talked about my health and the operation and, although I was quite anxious, I felt relieved to have Dr Yates doing the procedure.”

Trevor's surgery on 31st May 2024 was a success, and due to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, he was able to return home the following day.

“I went in at around 8.30am for the operation and the next thing I knew I was done and in the post-op room. My wife and son came to visit and told me the procedure had only taken a couple hours and that I’d been asleep on the ward by the time they arrived that afternoon.”

Since returning home Trevor has commended the rapid progress of his recovery.

“I’ve been able to go on little walks up and down the street without much difficulty, which I was really surprised at.”

Encouraging others to take proactive steps for their health, Trevor added,

“Even though I had no pain or symptoms, getting the PSA test was crucial. Without it, I might still think I was perfectly healthy.”

Dr Yates, Consultant Urologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have been a leader in robotic surgery for several years and I am delighted that investment in this latest robot enables even more patients to have less invasive surgery and to be able to recover quicker and with good outcomes.”

Trevor Palay recovering at home



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