Robotic Urologic Surgery
Surgery is often used to treat a variety of conditions affecting the organs of the urinary tract and male reproductive system. Given the sensitive nature of this area, many men are apprehensive about undergoing major surgery to treat their condition. Traditional urologic surgery requires large incisions to access the pelvic organs and can cause severe pain and long recovery times. There may also be long-term effects on continence and sexual function.
Robotic urologic surgery can help ease these concerns by providing a safer, less invasive alternative to traditional surgery. Robotic surgery can be used to treat prostate cancer, bladder cancer and several kidney disorders.
Some of the urologic procedures that can be performed through robotic-assisted techniques include:
- Prostatectomy – A prostatectomy is the surgical removal of the prostate gland, commonly used to treat prostate cancer. A traditional open prostatectomy can include an incision up to ten inches long and a high risk of incontinence and erectile dysfunction while laparoscopic techniques offer less accuracy and rigid movement.
- Cystectomy – A cystectomy is the removal of part or all of the bladder and may be performed to treat bladder cancer. As an open or laparoscopic procedure, a cystectomy comes with high risks, large scars and limited control.
- Kidney surgery – Kidney surgery may be used to remove cancerous tumors or correct obstructions. Open or laparoscopic techniques for this procedure require a large incision or result in limited movement and dexterity for the doctor.
Robotic-assisted surgery can be performed with the da Vinci Surgical System, a state-of-the-art console that provides the advantages of minimally invasive techniques along with more precise procedures. The da Vinci system allows surgeons to perform complex procedures through robotic arms that mimic the movement of their own. These arms are inserted into the body through tiny incisions and then guided to the area to be treated. The surgeon can view the area through a lens in the console that offers a three-dimensional, magnified view, allowing for more precise procedures.
The da Vinci system offers patients:
- Smaller incisions
- Less pain
- Less scarring
- Less blood loss
- Lower risk of infection
- Shorter recovery time
Although robotic surgery offers many advantages over open and laparoscopic techniques, this method is not for everybody. It is important to discuss your treatment options with an experienced doctor and assess your overall health condition to find out if you can benefit from robotic urologic surgery.