launch new study
Australian haemochromatosis sufferers are
among the first in the world to trial a potentially
life-changing new treatment option at
Greenslopes Private Hospital.
Haemochromatosis is an inherited metabolic disorder which
causes the body to absorb too much iron. It is the most
common inherited disease in Caucasian populations, affecting
about 1 in 200 people, and tends to be underdiagnosed.
Traditional treatment for haemachromatosis involves
the removal of blood from the body. This process, called
therapeutic venesection, is similar to the method for donating
blood. Without this treatment, organs including the liver, heart
and pancreas can suffer serious damage and the build-up of
iron can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.
Wollongong Private Hospital has
acquired the latest generation da
Vinci Xi Surgical System, positioning
the hospital as the region’s leader of
robotic assisted surgery.
The arrival of this new equipment means
Illawarra and South Coast patients now have
access to cutting edge technology for urology,
gynaecology, cardiac and general procedures
without having to travel beyond Wollongong.
Similar to traditional laparoscopy, the
da Vinci Xi enables surgeons to perform
delicate and complex operations through a
few small incisions. While remaining 100%
in control of the robotic assisted system, the
surgeon is able to operate with enhanced
vision, precision and dexterity.
Wollongong Private Hospital is among
ten hospitals in NSW that have invested in
the latest Xi model.
This particular model features enhancements
6 The Ramsay Way 2018 | 03
The Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation (GMRF), based
at Brisbane’s Greenslopes Private Hospital, is the first
Australian centre to take part in a global study into whether a
synthetic hormone can become an alternative treatment for
Professor Darrell Crawford, Director of Research at the
Gallipoli Medical Research Institute, said the trial will focus on
“Hepcidin regulates iron absorption in the gut, and we
know that hepcidin deficiency is the cause of most types of
hereditary haemochromatosis,” Professor Crawford said.
“If successful, this study will make a huge difference to the
quality of life for patients with haemochromatosis.”
“I can see a future where some patients with
haemochromatosis – particularly those who find venesection
such as new overhead instrument
architecture designed to facilitate anatomical
access from virtually any position, as well
as thinner, longer instrument shafts which
enable a greater range of motion and
operative reach - taking surgery beyond the
limits of the human hand.
Patient benefits can include a shorter
hospital stay, less pain, less risk of infection
and a faster recovery.
Urologist, Associate Professor Peter Chin,
said, “This new technology enhances
the surgeons ability to perform complex
abdominal procedures with absolute
precision due to the enhanced 3D vision,
magnification and instrument control.”
“This technology has changed the way many
surgical procedures have been performed in
Australia and around the world, and I am very
excited that it is now available in Wollongong,
further cementing Wollongong Private
Hospital at the forefront of many medical
advances in NSW,” A/Prof Chin said.
Professor Darrell Crawford, Director of Research at the Gallipoli Medical Research Institute
difficult to tolerate - will be able to take this synthetic hepcidin.”
Professor Crawford, who is also a gastroenterologist
at Greenslopes Private Hospital, said it is important for
people to notify their GP if there is a family history of
“Many people do not realise they have haemochromatosis
as they do not feel unwell in the early stages. Signs to look
out for include constantly feeling tired or suffering pain in
their joints. Early diagnosis and intervention restores life
expectancy to normal for patients with haemochromatosis.”
The GMRF is still recruiting patients for the
haemochromatosis study at Greenslopes Private Hospital.
For more information, visit www.gallipoliresearch.com.au
New robotic surgical system arrives in Wollongong