Robotic surgery at Peter Mac

Peter Mac has the most advanced surgical robot in Australia. Our latest system is the dual console da Vinci© Xi with integrated Table Motion operating table which we installed in August 2017.

Peter Mac pioneered robotic surgery in the public system in Victoria when we installed our first system, a da Vinci® S HD, back in 2010, and we are the only hospital in Victoria with the latest dual console da Vinci Xi©.

This state-of-the-art technology allows surgeons to perform complex surgery through keyhole incisions, thereby reducing morbidity and hospital stay when compared to conventional open surgery. Although widely available in the private hospital sector across Australia, Peter Mac is one of the few public hospitals in Australia to offer robotic surgery. We have an internationally-recognised robotic surgery program with many academic presentations, publications, grants, and media contributions from our team of leading robotic surgeons.

What is robotic surgery?

Commonly referred to as a ‘robot’, the da Vinci® Xi surgical system is a surgical system which facilitates complex laparoscopic (or “keyhole”) surgical procedures. It is not capable of independent movement but responds to the surgeon’s commands via an advanced remote-control system.

The surgeon sits at one of two consoles in the corner of the operating theatre, viewing live 3-D images of the patient’s inner anatomy. The robot is positioned over the patient, deploying its telescope and instruments deep inside the body through very small incisions. Using hand and foot controls, the surgeon manipulates the camera system and miniature instruments deep inside the patient’s body, allowing extremely precise and delicate surgery to be performed through tiny incisions.

What can robotic surgery be used for?

Robotic surgery is reserved for complex procedures and therefore its most common applications are in cancer surgery. The most commonly performed robotic surgery procedure worldwide is robotic assisted radical prostatectomy (robotic prostatectomy), which is now the most popular surgical approach for men with localised prostate cancer in much of the Western world including Australia. Open surgery for prostate cancer has steeply declined and robotic surgery is now the most popular approach for prostate cancer in Victoria. Peter Mac performs more radical prostatectomies than any other public hospital in Victoria.

Apart from robotic prostatectomy, other procedures that are performed at Peter Mac using robotic assisted surgery include:

  • Removal of small kidney cancers (robotic partial nephrectomy)
  • Removal of the kidney and/or ureter (robotic nephrectomy/nephro-ureterectomy)
  • Surgery for colo-rectal cancer
  • Surgery for gynaecology cancers
  • Head and neck cancer surgery (trans-oral robotic surgery)
  • Removal of tumours within the chest
  • Surgery for stomach and oesophageal cancers

Robotic surgery at Peter Mac

Thanks to generous philanthropic funding through the Peter Mac Foundation, a da Vinci® S HD surgical system was installed at Peter Mac in 2010, enabling access for public patients in Victoria for the first time. In 2017, again thanks to the generosity of donors to the Peter Mac Foundation, a a dual console da Vinci Xi© system was installed at Peter Mac. This is the most advanced robotic surgical system in Australia and includes the following features:

  • Four arm robotic surgery cart using 8mm robotic surgery instruments
  • Dual console system allowing two surgeons to operate
  • 3D high-definition visualisation
  • FireflyTM fluorescence-guided visualisation
  • Virtual reality simulator
  • Integrated operating table using Table MotionTM technology

Peter Mac is renowned for training in robotic surgery and is the only hospital outside Europe to be appointed as a Robotic Surgery Centre by the European Association  of Urology.

The Robotic Surgery Program is Directed by Associate Professor Declan Murphy, Consultant Urologist & Director of Genitourinary Oncology at Peter Mac. Associate Professor Murphy is internationally recognised as a leader in the area of robotic surgery and prostate cancer. 

In July 2010, the first robotic prostatectomy in the public system was performed at Peter Mac and the program has since expanded to include many other surgical procedure types. We have performed thousands of robotic surgeries and are the highest volume robotic surgery centre in the public system in Australia. Robotic surgery is now offered for patients across five tumour streams by highly experienced surgeons including:

Genitourinary oncology: prostate cancer, kidney cancer

Robotic prostatectomy explained

Colorectal oncology: rectal cancer, total pelvic exenteration

Thoracic oncology: thymectomy, thoracic malignancies

Head and neck oncology: Trans-oral robotic surgery for tonsil and floor-of-mouth cancers

Gynae-oncology: uterine and ovarian cancer

Upper gastrointestinal oncology: gastric and oesophageal cancer

  • Dr Cuong Duong

Referrals for robotic surgery at Peter Mac

Referrals for patients interested in robotic surgery are accepted from general practitioners or from other specialists. New patients are usually seen within a week or two, and the waiting list for surgery is typically less than three months. There are no fees for patients undergoing robotic surgery at Peter Mac and we accept referrals from patients all over Australia.

Click here to find information regarding referrals to Peter Mac.

Further information

Contact Robotic Surgery Nurse Coordinator, Marc Diocera

Phone: 03 8559 6941

Email: [email protected]