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Robotics is the way of the future, says Africa’s first black robotic surgeon

Robotic surgery has successfully been applied to almost 2 000 major urological procedures at The Urology Hospital, Pretoria, and is the way of the future for medicine, says Africa’s first black robotic surgeon.

Urologist, Dr Kabo Ijane, who qualified as a robotic surgeon earlier this year after training both locally and in Europe, has encouraged his peers to embrace robotic surgery which is experiencing dramatic global growth due to the success of its minimally invasive technology.

“Robotic surgery affords us more precision, allows us to access difficult places and there’s the advantage of magnification and three-dimensional viewing,” said Ijane, who is one of 17 qualified robotic surgeons at The Urology Hospital, which became the first SA institution to acquire a robot six years ago.

“From a patient’s perspective, recovery is much quicker, they spend much less time in hospital (about two days compared to up to 10 days for open surgery), they are back at work quicker – sometimes within two weeks — and generally, robotic patients don’t require blood transfusions,” he added.

Since qualifying, Ijane has conducted 11 prostatectomies (removal of cancerous prostate) and plans to expand to other procedures. He says The Urology Hospital also conducts regular robotic procedures for bladder and kidney conditions and says the future of robotics may include reconstructive urinary work, pelvic floor procedures, ventral hernias and gynaecological operations such as hysterectomies and myomectomies.

“With robotic surgery the sky’s the limit. The potential to do multiple procedures is endless and is limited only by what patients and medical aids can afford,” he added.

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Urologists are highly trained specialist surgeons who use both medication and surgery as part of a comprehensive approach to care for men and women and children with urological problems. 


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