Robotic Assisted Surgery

Wakefield Hospital is home to the da Vinci, a state-of-the-art robotic assisted surgical system designed to facilitate complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach.Robotic surgery is a form of keyhole surgery where the surgeon carries out the procedure by controlling surgical instruments through a series of robotic arms. The surgeon sits in front of a console during the procedure controlling both the robotic arms and surgical instruments while viewing the procedure on a high-definition 3D video screen.

The da Vinci XI system is the most advanced surgical robot, and part of the fourth-generation series of surgical robots allowing for multi-quadrant access for a variety of surgeries. 

Robotic assisted surgery has become a preferred option over traditional open surgery for many patients who are undergoing complex surgical procedures. The minimally invasive nature of robotic procedures can result in faster patient recovery, less pain, less blood loss and scarring, as well as a lower risk of infection. It can also allow patients to get back to their families and daily activities more easily. It also has a broad range of benefits for surgeons.

 Prostate Cancer

In New Zealand, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It is common to start experiencing changes with your prostate as you get older. Most problems are caused by an enlargement of the prostate, but some problems may be caused by cancer. A first sign of a prostate problem is trouble passing urine. If you have any concerns it is recommended you consult with your GP as you may need your prostate checked  . 

Screening and early detection of prostate cancer

Early detection of prostate cancer is important as this cancer is most treatable when detected while contained within the prostate gland. In New Zealand, regular prostate checks are important for men who are over the age of 40 if there is a history of prostate cancer or are older than 50, but younger than 70. 

How is prostate cancer detected?

There is no single test to detect prostate cancer. The two most common tests are the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and the digital rectal examination (DRE).

The PSA test measures the level of PSA in your blood. It does not specifically test for cancer. Virtually all PSA is produced by the prostate gland. The normal range depends on your age. A raised PSA can show that your risk of having prostate cancer is higher than it would be for a person with a normal PSA.  However, two-thirds of cases of elevated PSA are due to noncancerous conditions such as prostatitis and BPH.

A DRE is generally conducted by your GP or a urologist to feel the prostate. While DRE is no longer recommended as a routine test for men who do not have symptoms of prostate cancer, it may be used to check for any changes in the prostate before doing a biopsy.

If either of these tests suggest an abnormality, other tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer, usually a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) biopsy. A biopsy is the most comment way to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer. 

If you have recently received a prostate cancer diagnosis, you and your specialist can decide on the course of action that makes sense to you based on your individual factors. 

One of the courses of actions that may be discussed is surgery. Your surgeon may use the da Vinci surgical system technology to remove your prostate gland via minimal surgical techniques. 

  Benefits of Robotic Prostatectomy

  • Minimally invasive
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less blood loss - less blood transfusions
  • Significantly less pain
  • Faster recovery - quicker return to normal activities
  • Less risk of infection
  • 10 x magnified 3D high definition view
  • Anticipated improved erectile function and continence 
  • Lower bladder neck stricture rates

Driving Robotic Surgery in New Zealand

As the innovative healthcare provider of choice for central New Zealand, we are proud to lead in robotic surgery with the most advanced technology. With the expertise of internationally regarded robotic surgeons across a range of specialties, our robotic theatre staff are a diverse team who are highly-skilled in their area. 

Certified Robotic Surgeon - Urology 

Mr Rodney Studd - Urologist
e33c42b35fb50d818b44e1c1698b2d40Mr Rod Studd is a specialist Urologist who practices general adult urology. His special interests lie in the management of prostate and bladder cancer. Rod is interested in risk assessment and diagnosis of prostate cancer. He utilises multi parametric prostate MRI which may reduce the requirement for biopsy in some men. He aims to minimize the discomfort and risk associated with prostate biopsy by offering trans-perineal techniques under general anaesthetic and trans-rectal biopsy under oral sedation and local anaesthetic. Rod is a strong proponent of active surveillance for low risk prostate cancer, employing this in two thirds of men with low risk disease. He offers radical prostatectomy and prostate brachytherapy. He performs approximately 100 prostatectomies per year employing potency preserving techniques where appropriate. In advanced prostate cancer where chemo-hormonal and radiation therapies are used, Rod liaises closely with the medical oncology and radiation oncology teams.

Contact: Urology Care Wellington
Wakefield Specialist Medical Centre
99 Rintoul Street, Wellington
P: 04 920 0162 

Risks of Robotic Prostatectomy

No surgery is without risks. Your surgeon will consider your individual condition when explaining risks and recommending suitable treatment options. 

More information:

Intuitive - Urology

Prostate Cancer Foundation New Zealand  

Cancer Society of New Zealand

Cancer Council NSW

Cancer Council Australia