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Surgical robot demonstration day at RD&E

A surgical robot pulled in huge crowds when it went on display at the RD&E on Thursday (February 28).

Members of staff and hospital visitors had the opportunity to learn more about how the robot works and even try their hands at an operation – on tiny rubber sculptures, rather than patients.


The £2.5 million state-of-the-art robotic equipment is being used in the RD&E to carry out complex surgery for prostate cancer.


The demonstration day marked the beginning of a pioneering research programme in robotic surgery between the RD&E and the University of Exeter, as well as heralding the start of national prostate cancer awareness month.


Representatives from local prostate cancer support charity, the Chestnut Appeal, presented a cheque for £125,000 to the hospital for the Da Vinci Robot. Another cheque, for £2,500, was presented to the North and East Devon Prostate Support Association from Roger Dawe, on behalf of the Norman Family Charitable Trust.


Consultant Urologists, John McGrath and Liz Waine, were on hand to explain the intricacies of the equipment.


Mr McGrath said: “It was fantastic that so many people wanted to find out more about robotic surgery. There was a really good atmosphere around the robot all day and people enjoyed the challenge of operating.”


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