[WATCH] High-definition fibre optic technology is operating at Mater Dei

A tender has been issued for a robotic surgery system and this is expected to be used first during prostatic surgery

A €700,000 investment enabled Mater Dei to start using high-deifintion fibre optic technology. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
A €700,000 investment enabled Mater Dei to start using high-deifintion fibre optic technology. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

Fibre optic technology at Mater Dei has been through a makeover. Now, surgeons using instruments through the patient's body can see a high-definition image being rendered on the screen.

Health Minister Chris Fearne said that this amounted to a government investment of €700,000. He was speaking at Mater Dei on Thursday where he inaugurated the technology.

Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure in which a fibre-optic instrument is inserted through the abdominal wall to view the organs in the abdomen or permit small-scale surgery. Fearne explained how this has been used on the island since the 90s and that Malta was one of the first countries to adopt it. 

"The improvement to this technology brings about many changes. Small-scale surgery through the technology has been rendered less painful, so patients can return home from surgery quicker than before," Fearne told MaltaToday. "The high-definition picture from inside the patients also helps efficiency and accuracy."

Surgeon Jonathan Abela explained how Mater Dei sees at least four operations like this, using fibre optic technology, every day. The amount of laporoscopic surgeries per year is 5,000.

"With new and updated apparatus, surgeons can now make use of what is called ICG technology: this uses blue fluorescent lighting so that the surgeon can focus easier through the laporoscopic lens on specific parts of the body," Abela said.

Fearne told MaltaToday that the government had just issued a tender for the supply of a robotic surgery system within the operating theatres at Mater Dei hospital.

For this reason, he said, he couldn't give out details of how this could work but he did say that it would be used first in prostatic surgery.

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