The Royal Alexandra Hospital has upgraded its gynecological cancer surgery equipment to perform less invasive procedures.

The da Vinci Surgical System now has a Firefly attachment—a fluorescence imaging used to treat women with early stage cervix and uterine cancer.

Firefly helps surgeons have a better view of cancerous tumours and lymph nodes that are closest to the tumour, Alberta Health Services (AHS) said in a release.

“The addition of the Firefly allows surgeons to reduce the number of lymph nodes to remove, which results in less invasive procedures, faster recovery times and, ultimately, less pain and discomfort for patients,” said Dr. Helen Steed, gynecological oncology surgeon at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women (LHHW) at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

More than 1,000 patients are diagnosed with a form of gynecological cancer at the LHHW every year.

LHHW is the only medical centre in western Canada with a Firefly for this type of surgery.

The Firefly cost $250,000, and it was fully funded by the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation's Lois Hole Women's Society.