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Urology Hospital celebrates 3 500 robotic procedures

The Urology Hospital celebrates 3 500 robotic procedures with the acquisition of its second da Vinci robot (the all-new Gen 4 X) – the first hospital on the African continent to reach this milestone.

As Africa’s only centre of excellence in urology, having first acquired a surgical robot in 2013, the hospital consistently combines state-of-the-art technology with the unparalleled expertise of its specialists.

“Robotic-assisted radical prostatectomies have become the standard of care for patients undergoing prostate cancer-related surgery. The biggest advantage is the precision in which the surgery can be performed, using the new da Vinci 4th Generation Robot. It remains a wonderful experience to be part of the robotic team that has pioneered robotic surgery in South Africa,” says Dr Dirk Ligthelm, urologist and robotic surgeon at The Urology Hospital.

“Robotic technology is constantly evolving and changing the face of prostate cancer treatment in South Africa. This new robot provides better vision and greater precision during robotic prostatectomies and partial nephrectomies, greatly benefiting patients as the smaller instruments allow for ease of work in smaller areas”, said Dr Coetzee, urologist and robotic surgeon at The Urology Hospital.

Globally cancer is the second leading cause of death, with nearly one in six deaths and more than 1.4 million new prostate cancer cases by 2020. Prostate cancer tops the list of five most invasive cancers amongst South African men, with one in 15 at risk as reported by CANSA (NCR 2019).

“Our robotic-assisted prostate surgery is advantageous to our patients as it reduces levels of postoperative side effects such as incontinence and impotence significantly compared to conventional open surgery. It is minimally invasive, reduces blood loss, lowers the risk of infection, and allows the patient to recover more quickly with a shorter hospital stay. We look forward to training more young surgeons with the new robot for continued surgical innovation and maximising patient care,” says Coetzee.

The da Vinci® X 4th Generation Robot enables a broader reach than previous generations and can comfortably perform a range of complex procedures allowing more patients to benefit from its upgraded technology. The system allows for greater operating precision, easier access to difficult areas with improved magnification and three-dimensional (3D) viewing.

Procedures done robotically at The Urology Hospital include:

  • Prostatectomy: removal of cancerous prostate.
  • Partial nephrectomy: partial removal of cancerous kidney.
  • Nephrectomy: removal of cancerous kidney.
  • Pyeloplasty: reconstructive surgery for the repair of the ureter.
  • Sacrocolpopexy: a surgical procedure treating pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Robotic enucleation of large clinical benign prostate.

  • Media contact: Farah Manuel on 076 051 4233 or
  • Hospital contact and to attend launch event on 1 March 2023, Lebo Mangcwatywa on 012 423 4069 or
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The Urology Hospital, Pretoria

The Urology Hospital, Pretoria, is the only urology centre of excellence in Africa. With more than 20 urologists under one roof, using the latest in highly specialised technology as well as specialised urology trained nursing staff, it offers unparalleled expertise in its field. In addition, the hospital maintains its association with the academic world to ensure ongoing research, medical education and training and development in the field of urology.

The hospital prides itself on being at the forefront of technology. It was the first hospital in South Africa to perform robotic surgery, implement a robotic pharmacy picking system and now has one of only a handful of 3D laparoscopic surgical units in South Africa. The hospital has undergone major renovations and now offers 127 beds and eight theatres.

The Urology Hospital not only cares about patients and staff, but also for the community, undertaking numerous Corporate Social Investment initiatives throughout the year. The hospital and staff work together to assist selected charities, including donations to The Clothing Bank, uniforms for Sunnyside Primary School and stationery for Balebogeng Primary School.


What we Do

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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