Although prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Scotland, early diagnosis can often lead to successful treatment and cure. In Scotland there are a number of treatments available for prostate cancer, including surgery, radiotherapy, brachytherapy and hormone treatment.

One of the main treatments for early prostate cancer is surgery and currently around 400 operations to remove the prostate are undertaken in Scotland each year. Increasingly these operations were performed by keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery which was introduced into Scotland at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh and were also available in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Ninewells in Dundee, the Raigmore in Inverness and Monklands in Lanarkshire.  Robotically assisted prostate cancer surgery is now available in centres in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow for the north, south and east and west respectively.

Robotically assisted surgery is performed by a surgeon operating a robot, utilising keyhole technology. During the procedure the surgeon sits close to the patient, remotely operating the four surgical ‘arms’ of the robot from a console. The surgeon views the operation through a video monitor. Robotics can make complex manoeuvres easier to perform and consequently facilitating dissection whilst making reconstructive actions such as suturing easier to perform.

Over the past few years robotic assisted surgery for prostate cancer has become a common method of choice in England, much of Europe and the United States – where over 70% of all prostate cancer surgery is now undertaken robotically.  The BBC has published a piece about robot assisted surgery which can be viewed by clicking on this link (Please note Prostate Scotland is not responsible for external content).