MILESTONE PROCEDURE: Dr Wesley Hii, Urologist pictured with the robotic surgical system after the 100th case at St Andrew's Hospital Toowoomba.
MILESTONE PROCEDURE: Dr Wesley Hii, Urologist pictured with the robotic surgical system after the 100th case at St Andrew's Hospital Toowoomba. Contributed

Better outcomes for local patients

A STANTHORPE man has become the 100th patient in 12 months to be treated by the less invasive surgery offered at St Andrew's Hospital Toowoomba, after the hospital invested $2.6 million in robotic assisted surgery last year.

The use of the advanced equipment for the removal of the prostate enables surgeons to operate in the difficult-to-access lower pelvis through very small incisions with unmatched accuracy and precision surgery at St Andrew's with local surgeon, Dr Wesley Hii.

"The benefits to patients include less pain, faster recovery, and less risk of infection," Dr Hii said.

"Typically a patient who has undergone the total removal of the prostate using robotic assisted surgery can expect a shorter hospital stay, faster return to normal daily activities and higher patient satisfaction."

This has certainly been the experience for a local Stanthorpe farmer who was the 100th robotic-assisted surgical patient recently at St Andrew's Hospital to undergo prostate surgery.

"Due to my family history of prostate cancer, I had regular checkups with my local GP," he said.

"I didn't have any symptoms, but when one of my regular PSA tests came back higher than usual, my GP felt it was time for me to see Dr Wesley Hii, a urologist who visits the Warwick Hospital once a fortnight.

"I had a biopsy of my prostate and unfortunately three of the samples come back with abnormal results, so we scheduled the surgery," said the patient about his experience.

"When Dr Hii explained how using the robot increases the precision of the prostate surgery and allows the doctor to more accurately get closer to the nerves and veins, it was an easy decision to go to St Andrew's for the surgery."

The patient had his prostate removed at St Andrew's late last month, and is recovering well.

"I only had to stay in three nights, and I hope to be back working the farm in a month or so," he said.

Dr Hii is a consultant urologist in private and public practices, regularly visiting and treating patients from the Southern Downs and Lockyer Valley.

"St Andrew's Hospital is the first regional hospital in Queensland to offer robotic assisted surgery," Dr Hii said.

"In the past patients had to travel to Brisbane to access this type of surgery."

At a time when prostate cancer is the second-most common cause of cancer-related death among Australian men, St Andrew's Toowoomba Hospital is providing state-of-the-art equipment, leading specialists, research facilities and compassionate care, making men's health a priority.

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