Pioneering robotic cancer surgery in Bristol will be expanded to treat more types of cancer following the success of Southmead Hospital Charity’s £2million Prostate Cancer Care Appeal.

Thanks to donors and fundraisers the charity’s Prostate Cancer Care Appeal has now purchased two surgical robots to treat more men with prostate cancer and to expand robotic surgery into other urological and gynaecological cancers.

The Charity launched the £2million appeal in 2016 and since then the charity has contributed £1.5m  to the appeal, with a further £500,000 ongoing costs met by North Bristol NHS Trust.

This includes transformational donations from the John James Bristol Foundation, The Medlock Charitable Trust, The James Tudor Foundation and the Nisbet Trust along with other local and national trusts and foundations.

Alongside hundreds of fundraisers, the appeal has been supported by many community groups and grant giving bodies, particularly John Lewis Cribbs Causeway, Guildhall Chambers and the rotary clubs of Bristol, Bristol Breakfast ,Chipping Sodbury and Yate.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.

Every day more than 130 men are diagnosed with the disease in the UK.

Southmead Hospital is one of the largest urological centres in the country, treating thousands of patients with prostate cancer a year, and was one of the first centres in the UK to specialise in robotic surgery to treat the disease.

But having helped save the lives of thousands of men, Southmead Hospital’s first robot, bought in 2009, was aging and needed replacing to enable the urology teams to be at the forefront of cancer care.

Now the two advanced Intuitive Da Vinci robot will continue the pioneering work in treating men with prostate cancer as well as expanding the service to treat patients with other cancers like bladder, kidney and gynaecological from across Bristol and the South West.

Darren Jones MP meets the charity and surgeon Anthony Koupparis to see the new surgical robot.

Robotic surgery is more accurate, less invasive, causes less blood loss, and reduces the length of stay in hospital by one to three days compared to open surgical methods. Men also have much better long term prospects for a full recovery.

Elizabeth Bond, head of fundraising at Southmead Hospital Charity, said: “Southmead Hospital Charity is absolutely delighted to be able to complete our Prostate Cancer Care Appeal and deliver two new surgical robots for North Bristol NHS Trust.

“With the help of a brilliant community of fundraisers, donors and supporters we have enabled the urology team to continue the amazing work they do, cementing Southmead Hospital and Bristol as a leader in pioneering cancer treatment.

“A special thank you to everyone who has donated to or fundraised for the Prostate Cancer Care Appeal and made this possible, our fundraisers have been instrumental in reaching this goal.

“We are also very grateful for the generous donations from private donors and charitable trusts that support our work.”

The purchase of the first robot was announced in January 2018 and has already operated on hundreds of patients. The second robot has now begun operating.

Salah Albuheissi, lead urology consultant, said: “We are very grateful to Southmead Hospital Charity and their fundraisers and donors, and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported the Prostate Cancer Care Appeal.”

Anthony Koupparis, consultant urologist and lead for the multispecialty robotic programme said: “With two new state of the art surgical robots we can continue to be at the forefront of prostate cancer care and grow our expertise in treating other cancers robotically, underlining our reputation as the leading urological robotic centre in the country.

“It means that more patients will benefit from robotic surgery which means shorter operating times and a reduction in their length of stay in hospital.”

Andrea Young, chief executive for North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “Thanks to Southmead Hospital Charity and their supporters, our urology and surgical teams can continue ensuring that we are at the forefront of cancer care and in delivering exceptional healthcare to our patients.

“We are very grateful for the continued support of Southmead Hospital Charity and their donors and fundraisers.”

You can continue to support prostate cancer through the charity’s urology fund by setting up a regular gift through direct debit or making a one off donation.