04 Oct 2022

Hospital group responds to Tipperary GP's claims operating robot is ‘underused’

€2.6m da Vinci robot has benefited 187 patients

Hospital group responds to claims €2.6m operating robot is ‘underused’

The da Vinci operating robot that is at the centre of claims it is being underused

University Hospital Group has responded to claims by a Tipperary doctor that a €2.6m robotic operating machine in the hospital in Lmierick is being underused.

Dr Pat Harrold from Nenagh, had stated that patients needing radical prostatectomies were bypassing Limerick and being sent to Galway.

However, UHL has told the Tipperary Star that the Da Vinci robot, installed in May 2016 had since benefited 187 patients through minimally invasive surgery across urology and colorectal specialities. The hospital group continues to provide equity of access to all patient of the region on the Da Vinci robot.

They said that the robot aligned well with the group’s strategy by developing excellence in care through providing opportunities for the pooling of expertise and maximising patient benefits in complex cases in a multidisciplinary setting.

This also facilitated dedicated robotic training for the surgeons of tomorrow, which is currently not available in Ireland.

“With 360 degree live-streaming available from the operating room, all of our residents can not only observe this surgery, but can also see a robot’s-eye-view of the patient and ask practical questions to the surgeon or any member of the theatre team in real time,” they said.

Such has been the success of the Da Vinci Robot that the group is seeking to build on that by commencing gynaecological robotic procedures in 2019.

ULH performed 31 prosatectomies (not robotic cases) in 2017, of which seven were from Tipperary. To date in 2018, it has performed 14 prostatectomies, of which less than five were from Tipperary.

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