It was the first hospital in Scotland to introduce a robotic device which could carry out major operations.
And now, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary has launched an appeal to raise £1.1 million to purchase a second robot which will help more cancer patients across the north-east.
The original machine was installed at the hospital in 2015 and has already been involved in 850 operations.
Justine Royle, an NHS Grampian surgeon and the the chairwoman of UCAN, which is based at the ARI, told the Press and Journal there were clear benefits to patients from deploying such machines, but revealed the robot is currently working at full capacity.
She said: “We are limited by only having the one device, but we want to transform that situation in the future, because we know there are many people who would benefit from the robotic surgery, whether it’s dealing with cases of pancreatic or prostrate cancer or other complicated procedures.
“The response since we introduced the technology nearly four years ago has been very positive and the benefits for patients mean that it is well worth the medical staff learning how best to use it.
“Within reason, robots can carry out all sorts of procedures, and they could be used in ENT (ear, nose and throat) and colorectal surgery.
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“We are proud of the difference that one robot has made. But we think we can achieve more by launching this campaign for another one.”
The initiative has been backed by the former Aberdeen FC vice-chairman, George Yule, who needed treatment on his prostrate last year.
He said: “As a direct result of my own personal experiences, I’ve become more aware of the challenges faced by the UCAN staff in dealing with an ongoing queue of patients.
“It’s very apparent to me that robotic surgery is the way forward for the benefit of people on both sides of prostrate cancer diagnosis and treatment and I fully support this proposal to invest in a second robot.”
Ms Royle expressed her gratitude for the generosity of the north east public and said she appreciated there was no quick fix to securing more than a million pounds.
However, she believes it is essential for ARI to keep investing in new technological developments, particularly given the increasing number of people with cancer.
She added: “We are looking to businesses and individual donors to help us bring this project to fruition and we have been helped by the great and good in the past.
“It would be terrific if we could raise the money as quickly as possible, but we have to be realistic and are looking at a two to three-year timescale to make this happen.
“It is important to stress that more and more people are being diagnosed with different types of cancer across the country. We have to be ready to deal with it and appreciate the many positive aspects of robot technology in medicine.”
There are still a limited number of tickets available for a charity fundraiser in aid of UCAN at the Aberdeen Altens Hotel on May 31.
These cost £20, including food with entertainment supplied by Pepperpot. Anyone interested should contact Eric on email@example.com or 07786 330413.
Anybody interested in helping the campaign should email Gayle Stephen, UCAN’s office manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.