A group of surgeons from the UK have visited The Christie NHS Foundation Trust to learn how to perform robotic assisted surgery. This is the first ever training event in this region.

The training took place at The Christie's School of Oncology which provides undergraduate education as well as clinical, professional and medical education. The school was the first of its kind in the UK.

Mr Vijay Ramani, delivered the highly specialised training which uses the very latest techniques and equipment to treat prostate cancer. The team involved included Mr P Dimopoulos and Mr A Parnham. The training offered the surgeons the chance to use and train on the actual robot and the skills simulator.

The Christie is in a unique position to deliver this training as it is the only hospital in the Manchester to use the da Vinci®robot. Currently the robotic surgical urological team at The Christie includes Mr Vijay Ramani, Mr M Lau and Mr Panos Dimopoulos, all consultant urological surgeons.

Robot prostatectomy is a procedure which involves keyhole surgery to remove the prostate using robotic techniques. Referred to by many as robotic surgery for prostate cancer or robotic prostatectomy, da Vinci® prostatectomy is more accurately a robot-assisted, minimally invasive surgery that is quickly becoming the preferred treatment for removal of the prostate following early diagnosis of prostate cancer.

The simulation training allowed surgeons and oncology specialists a chance to practice using the advanced equipment in order to share this expertise in their workplaces.

Mr Vijay Ramani, Consultant Urologist at The Christie and one of the trainers on the day said: "Our robotic simulation training day is a unique way for surgeons and oncology specialists across the country to come to a centre of excellence like The Christie and learn how to use this incredible equipment which is making such a difference to patients' lives. We are the only cancer centre in the North West to have access to a state of the art digital simulator which allows trainees to understand how a real robotic surgery is performed."

The robotics simulation training days take place throughout the year and further information can be found at www.christie.nhs.uk.