Surgeons at Guys’ and St Thomas’ hospitals made history last Monday with the NHS’s first use of 3D printing to remove a cancerous prostate with surgical robots, writes Callum Burroughs…
Prfessor Prokar Dasgupta, a consultant urological surgeon, pioneered the combination of robotics and 3D printing to remove the tumour from the patient, a 65-year-old GP
The innovations were showcased as part of the Worldwide Robotic Surgery 24 Hour Event with 15 world leaders in robotic surgery streaming their operations from four different continents.
Professor Dasgupta said: “By using the 3D printed model I am able to hold the patient’s prostate in my hand before we operate.
“I can feel the tumour, I can see how close it is to vital nerves and muscles, and this allows me to plan the operation with detailed precision and accuracy.
“There are so many benefits to robotic surgery but, by using the robot, a surgeon loses his touch. The 3D model returns my touch and eliminates an element of guesswork.”
Guys’ and St Thomas’ has two da Vinci surgical robots and carries out the most robotic operations in the UK – with more than 400 cases a year, making it the largest surgical robotics programme in Britain.
This wasn’t the first time staff at Guy’s have utilised 3D printing, having successfully transplanted a kidney from an adult to a child last year using the technology.
The team at the hospital used an MRI scan of the prostate to create the 3D model which helps surgeons and patients better plan and understand the procedure.