Christie’s 600th robotic surgery patient says ‘I do’ thanks to innovative surgery

Press Release Posted 03 June 2015

A Chorlton father of three was able to marry his partner of 11 years after lifesaving robotic surgery at The Christie.

Richard Gore, 61, a primary education consultant, became the 600th patient to receive the pioneering robotic surgery at The Christie after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The surgery, the only type of its kind in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire differs from traditional laparoscopic or open surgery in that the surgeon operates the robotic system outside the theatre. This gives the surgeon greater control, and has numerous benefits to the patient including; significantly less pain, less blood loss, fewer complications, less scarring, a shorter hospital stay, and a faster return to normal daily activities.

Richard said: "When I was first diagnosed, I was surprised, hearing you have a cancer is always going to be a shock, but I wasn't overwhelmed. I've been very healthy all my life and had no major illnesses before cancer. I was confident that it could be treated by medical intervention so I accepted it and became determined to get better as soon as possible."

Deciding whether to have the robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy was a difficult decision for Richard as there were three possible treatment options available - external beam radiotherapy, brachytherapy which involves implanting radioactive seeds in the affected area, and the robotic prostatectomy.

The Christie has been at the forefront of robotic surgery since it was introduced. The first robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy was performed by The Christie team in 2008 which has now carried out over 600 robotic prostatectomies.

Richard said: "It was very difficult as a patient to know which treatment to go for. You are told about the side effects and the chances of the treatments working but you have to make the decision yourself. I went to see each of the key players for each therapy at The Christie. And it became apparent that the robotic surgery was the only option for me."

"As a father to three young children, I needed to go with the treatment that would allow me to continue with my life as soon as possible. I emailed Mr Ramani, my surgeon, when we booked the date of the surgery and told him I was getting married six weeks after the operation so I had to be fit and well."

The surgery took place on 12th February 2015 and Richard was able to go home after just three days.

Just six weeks after the operation and following the news that the operation was a success and he was cancer free, Richard got married. He said: "It was the first day of Spring and it was a lovely, sunny day. We got married at Manchester Registry Office and had our reception in Chorlton. It was moving and enjoyable, just close family and friends, and the children who all took an active part in the wedding, the girls were bridesmaids and Luca, my son, was ring bearer.

"We had dancing, and I danced and drank champagne. It was a huge relief and celebration, I was celebrating the wedding and being cancer free."

"It was such a positive thing for me that The Christie had the capability to do robotic surgery. Six weeks after any of the other treatment options I wouldn't have been able to get married. The recovery is much quicker than through traditional surgery. And there were clear benefits to me and to my nearest and dearest. I'm very lucky to have had this technology on my doorstep. I owe a debt of gratitude to the skills and expertise of my surgeon and all the surgical and nursing team at the Christie"

The £1.3 million Da Vinci Surgical Robot was fully funded through donations to The Christie charity in 2008. The appeal was kicked off by Christie surgeon Mr Vijay Ramani with a leading gift from one of his former patients who was successfully treated at The Christie.

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust through its fundraising activities, and delivers projects, equipment and improvements that are in line with the Trust's overall plans and strategy. The charity has over 30,000 supporters who raised a record breaking £14.8m last year.

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