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Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

-New Fundació Puigvert - UAB Chair of Urological Robotic Surgery created

28 May 2024
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In a new collaboration agreement, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the Fundació Puigvert have created a specific Chair in Robotic Surgery in Urology to promote teaching, research and innovation in this field of knowledge. The robotic surgery in urology training programme to be developed at the Fundació Puigvert will give access to a "urotraining" area in minimally invasive urological surgery, which includes a specific module of simulation in robotic surgery.

Ramon Massaguer, patró delegat i director general de  Fundació Puigvert (Esquerra) i Javier Lafu
Ramon Massaguer, chief executive officer and general director of Fundació Puigvert and Javier Lafuente, rector of the UAB

Javier Lafuente, rector of the UAB, and Ramon Massaguer, Chief Executive Office and General Director of Fundació Puigvert, have signed an agreement that formalises the creation of a Chair in robotic surgery exclusively dedicated to the speciality of urology and all related surgical procedures in which robotic assistance has already demonstrated significant improvements, both in the level of technical precision and in the reduction of complications and patient recovery. Prostate (prostatectomy), bladder (cystectomy) and kidney (nephrectomy and renal transplantation) removal are examples where robotic surgery has its main field of application. However, it is already advancing in other fields and is selectively performed for surgery of congenital malformations or pelvic floor prolapse.

The formal constitution of the Fundació Puigvert Chair of Robotic Surgery in Urology - Universitat Autònoma Barcelona will allow both entities to contribute to innovation and progress in the health sciences, within the framework of excellence in healthcare practice. It represents a step in the joint effort to initiate a new stage of progress in the teaching of advanced robotic surgery specialising in the field of urology. In this sense, it is also important to highlight the historical link, since 1969, between the Fundació Puigvert and the UAB in the specialised training of health professionals.

As a whole, the Chair will be articulated around 4 axes: Research, Teaching, Innovation and Dissemination. The research axis will promote interdisciplinary, multicentre, and international studies that will help in further developing this technological area. In the field of teaching, contributions will be made to the design of a specialised university programme to be included in the teaching itinerary for future generations of urologists. In the field of innovation, R+D+i projects focused on new technologies and robotic surgical techniques will be actively promoted. Finally, dissemination will emphasise the sharing of knowledge through the organisation of scientific meetings and training sessions that contribute to the generalisation of these practices and the consolidation of the Fundació Puigvert as a reference centre in the expansion of robotic surgery applied to urology.

Establishment of a Fundació Puigvert - UAB Joint Commission

To ensure the proper monitoring of the Chair, a Joint Commission was established to regulate the development of the Fundació Puigvert Chair of Urological Robotic Surgery, composed on an equal basis by two representatives of each entity: Dr Salvador Navarro, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and Dr Assumpció Malgosa, Vice-Rector for Research, on behalf of the UAB, and Dr Lluís Gausa, Medical and Assistance Director of the Fundació Puigvert, and Mr Ramon Massaguer, Chief Executive Officer and General Director of the Foundation. Among the tasks of the Joint Commission are proposing the Chair's director, approving the action programmes and activities to be carried out, and proposing and adopting agreements or arrangements necessary for the fulfillment of the Chair's objectives, as well as with other universities and scientific institutions.¡

Robotic urology: consolidating the present and anticipating the future
For the Fundació Puigvert, pioneer in incorporating robotic surgery in the clinical reality of urological care in this country's universal health system and after a trajectory with proven scientific evidence, the Chair is a platform that brings rigour and university excellence in order to further extend and continuously advance in this field of knowledge.
In this sense, the new Fundació Puigvert Chair of Robotic Surgery - UAB comes at a key moment in the scenario of technological development and innovation that, at an increasing pace, is conquering operating theatres everywhere. Having overcome the initial phases of implementation and experimentation of the first robots that entered the market, robot-assisted surgery is beginning to diversify with the appearance of new models and brands in an increasingly competitive market. 

Fundació Puigvert, a European accredited teaching centre
The Fundació Puigvert is currently the only centre in Spain approved as a Certified Receiving Centre in the area of Robotics by the European Robotic Urology Section (ERUS- European Robotics Urology Section) attached to the EAU (European Association of Urology), chaired by the current Head of the Oncological Urology Unit of the Fundació Puigvert, Dr Alberto Breda. It is also the only hospital in Europe with more than 4 certifications in the field of Urology as a European reference centre for training scholarship programmes (European Urology Scholarship Programmes, approved by the EAU and the European Board of Urology -EBU). Among these certifications that recognise its training competence are the subspecialties of prostate cancer, renal cancer, urothelial cancer, Transplantation, Lithiasis, Functional and Female Urology, and Pediatric Urology; which coincide with the areas of urological supra-specialisation of the Fundació Puigvert.

In addition, since 2022 the Fundació Puigvert is the first and only European Prostate Cancer Centre of Excellence (EPCCE) in Spain, due to the results obtained in its triple approach to improve the diagnosis and treatment of this pathology, through assistance, research and teaching.

The entrepreneurial nature of the professionals at Fundació Puigvert and the institution that has always supported them have been key to the fact that today the Fundació Puigvert has the two most advanced robotic systems on the market, Da Vinci and HUGO, and therefore enjoys undisputed recognition as a pioneering centre within the public health system in performing the first robotic surgical procedures of greater complexity in the country and Europe with both systems. Specifically, throughout all these years, from the first surgery performed in 2005 to date, 2017 robotic surgical procedures have been performed. The Fundació Puigvert performed the first prostatectomy and cystectomy, respectively, in Spain using robotic surgery, the first pediatric interventions, the first living kidney donor extraction and the first complete kidney transplant, among other interventions.