Face of the Day


An Auckland man has become the first New Zealander to receive specialised robotic surgery.

Surgeons at Auckland’s Southern Cross North Harbour Hospital have performed the first trans-oral robotic surgery in the country.

The procedure can be used to treat things like oral cancer, neck tumours and obstructive sleep apnoea.

John, 59, who does not want his last name used, had the procedure to remove a tumour in his throat in October.

The East Auckland resident was diagnosed with oral cancer in July after having a dull ache in his throat for a few years.

He said he chose to have the robotic surgery as his other option was to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

“There was the prospect of having a quick recovery time and the fact it has provided me with accurate precision,” John said.

“This surgery is quite remarkable because within a few weeks I was back going for runs again and I was fit as a fiddle a month later.”

Southern Cross introduced the da Vinci robot technology earlier this year, a specialised device used for complex and delicate surgeries.

It is one of three in the country, offering minimally invasive procedures, increased precision and faster surgery and recovery times.

It is operated by a surgeon through a magnified vision system, which manipulates instruments on robotic arms to replicate movements on the patient.

John’s surgery was performed by doctors Francis Hall and Andrew Cho, who have previously used the robotic technology overseas.

Hall said the procedure had a lot of benefits compared to conventional surgery and there was plenty of scope for it in New Zealand.


– Stuff