Doctors from across the globe to learn about robotic surgery in Melle
The Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Ghent in Melle opened the first European Surgical Training Centre for robotic surgery yesterday. The centre will train 750 surgeons in robotic surgery each year. Following an initial series of lectures on the theory of robotic surgery, physicians will first learn to master their techniques on a simulated kind of PlayStation device. Once they have proven their dexterity they will improve their skills with operations on ‘dead matter’ like chickens and the organs of dead animals before progressing to live pigs. During the course, which will run over three to five days, the surgeons will also assist operations at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Hospital in Aalst, where urologist and driving force behind the project, Alexandre Mottrie, is a surgeon. A true pioneer of robotic surgery, he has done thousands of interventions with hi-tech material. Training at the faculty in Melle will cost a surgeon 7 000 euros. It cost 2.4 million euros to establish and expand the OLV Vattikuti Robotic Surgery Institute ORSI, named after the Indian professor whose fund injected money into the centre. The European Union, the Flemish government and a number of private partners also contributed a share. “We would like to provide scientific proof that interventions with robotic surgery are safer and more effective than traditional surgery,” says Professor Mottrie. Robotic surgery is often used to remove the prostate gland in cace of cancer. Doctors at the hospital in Aalst have meanwhile gained an international reputation and patients from around the world come to the hospital for surgery.