News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Robots Future of Prostate Cancer Treatment


Robots Future of Prostate Cancer Treatment

Urology specialist Dr Robin Smart says robotic surgery is the future of prostate cancer treatment both here and overseas.

Today is Blue Friday, the day New Zealanders are encouraged to ‘get blue’ for prostate cancer awareness. Just four weeks ago, Auckland based urologist Dr. Smart joined top specialists from around the world to attend the Australasian Prostate Cancer Conference in Melbourne. The specialists were shown a 3D video presentation of a radical prostatectomy by robot.

“It was impressive,” says Dr Smart Currently, New Zealand has just 3 “Da Vinci” robots, located in Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch with 5 surgeons who can operate them. The robot has the advantage of fine procedural work, operating around fragile tissue and nerves that can mean the difference between a patient’s full recovery after radical prostatectomy, and impotence or incontinence.

Other outtakes from the conference according to Dr Smart included that the PSA debate was “over”. Among urologists at least he says, “Everyone is testing their patients using the PSA blood test.” The reliability of the diagnostic method that uses PSA levels to measure the presence of prostate cancer has been a point of contention among medical and governmental bodies. “Really the battle is for the hearts and minds of GP’s,” he says.

Also highlighted at the conference were the high mortality rates of Maori and Pacific Island men in New Zealand. “The Maori results are appalling. I think they have the highest prostate cancer death rates in the OECD. “Dr Smart says the high death toll is due to late presentation by Maori and Pacific Island men to their GPs.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Joel Coen's Monochromatic Macbeth

The Bard of Avon may well be smirking up the sleeves of his lace doublet at the irony of Will Smith's Oscar debacle, but now that the initial furore has dissipated, it's worth revisiting the movie for which Denzel Washington was also nominated. More>>

Howard Davis: Kenneth Branagh’s Black & White Belfast

Branagh has assembled a wonderful cast, including Ciarán Hinds, a gently formidable actor who well deserves his Oscar nomination, and Judi Dench, who steals every scene she’s in. More>>

Howard Davis: Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune - A Brief History

So many elements of Herbert’s novel have since become tropes of popular SciFi that Villeneuve’s film sometimes seems deceptively derivative. What makes all this nonsense essential viewing is his astonishing visual sensibility. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which has been republished by Te Papa press. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland