Mater Private Hospital Townsville launches first surgical robot

A partnership between Mater Private Hospital Townsville and Townsville University Hospital, will utilise ground-breaking technology to deliver state-of-the-art medical care to public and private patients in the North Queensland region.

Last week the region launched its first surgical robot named the Da Vinci XI, which has been used to perform over 8.5 million surgeries worldwide in the specialities of cardiology, urology, gynaecology, colorectal, general, head and neck and thoracic.

Mater Health Executive Director Daniele Doyle said it was a significant milestone not only for Mater Private Hospital Townsville but for the population of North Queensland who could now access these surgeries.

“This partnership demonstrates the great things that can be achieved when we collaborate to improve the health of our community. There is no doubt robotic technology is the future of healthcare and Mater aims to be at the forefront of these advances,” Daniele said.

"While Mater has purchased a da Vinci Xi Surgical Robot worth $3.3 million, it would not have been achievable without the partnership between Mater Private Hospital Townsville, Townsville University Hospital, and support from the community through Mater Foundation."

Townsville MP and Minister for Resources Scott Stewart, who represented the Minister for Health Yvette D’Ath, said the robot signalled a revolution in medical care.

“The benefit of this approach is that our surgeons can operate within a tiny incision in the body using small and precise movements.  This is important because the smaller the hole we cut in someone, the quicker it heals. The benefits are quicker recovery times, better outcomes and a better patient experience,” the Minister said.

Mater Private Hospital Townsville Executive Officer Libbie Linley said she was proud to lead a hospital where doctors and nurses had the opportunity to learn new skills to deliver enhanced services.

“Teams at both Mater and Townsville HHS have worked tirelessly to make this robot a reality and I’m incredibly thrilled to be able offer the service for the first time in this region to both public and private patients,” Libbie said.

One of the first patients to have surgery using the new robot, Terrena Pearn, said it was ‘unbelievable’ she was able to go for a walk just a few days after her major surgery.

“Even the next morning when I woke up in hospital, I was sitting up and had brekky in my chair and just didn’t feel anything remotely like the discomfort I was expecting,” Terrena said.

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