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Robotic Prostate Cancer Procedures

Male AnatomyAbout Prostate Cancer
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that is part of the male reproductive system. The prostate makes fluid that is part of male semen. Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells inside the prostate gland grow out of control.

Prostate cancer is the second most common (non-skin) cancer in men. Approximately 238,000 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in the United States during 2013, and about 30,000 will die from the disease. Roughly 1 in 5 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.1

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
In its early stages, prostate cancer may not cause any symptoms. Your doctor may find signs of prostate cancer during your regular PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test and/or DRE (digital rectal exam).

When symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Inability to urinate
  • Trouble starting or holding back urination
  • A weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Frequent pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs

Treatment of Prostate Cancer
Treatment and surgical options for prostate cancer may include radiation, cryotherapy, watchful waiting, hormone therapy or prostatectomy.

Radiation and cryotherapy work by radiating, burning or freezing the prostate. With watchful waiting (also known as active surveillance), your doctor will monitor the cancer with regular tests and checkups. Surgery to remove the cancerous prostate is known as a prostatectomy.

Prostate cancer surgery can be performed with open surgery or minimally invasive surgery.

Prostatectomy Surgical Procedures

Conventional, open surgery
Open surgery requires doctors to make a large abdominal incision. It must be large enough for your surgeon to fit his or her hands and instruments inside your body. Open surgery allows doctors to see and touch your organs as they operate.

With laparoscopy, surgeons operate through a few small incisions using long-handled instruments and a tiny camera. The camera sends images back to a video monitor in the operating room to guide doctors as they operate.

Robotic Surgery
Prostatectomy comparisonIf your doctor recommends prostate cancer surgery, you may be a candidate for prostatectomy using the da Vinci Robot. Using the da Vinci Robot, your surgeon makes a few small incisions—similar to traditional laparoscopy. The da Vinci Robot features a magnified 3D HD vision system and tiny instruments that rotate far greater than the human wrist and fingers can. These features enable your surgeon to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.

As a result of da Vinci technology, da Vinci Prostatectomy offers the following potential benefits:

  • More patients at pre-surgery erectile function at 12-month checkup4, 5
  • Faster return of urinary continence5
  • Lower risk of complications2
  • Less chance of nerve injury2
  • Less chance of injuring the rectum2
  • Shorter operation3
  • Shorter hospital stay2, 3

Watch the da Vinci System demonstrate its precision by folding origami.

For a physician referral, call 678-312-5000 or click here.

1. National Cancer Institute: PDQ® Prostate Cancer Treatment. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Date last modified 12/23/2013. Available at: http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/prostate/Patient. Accessed 03/05/2014.

2. Tewari A, Sooriakumaran P, Bloch DA, Seshadri-Kreaden U, Hebert AE, Wiklund P. “Positive surgical margin and perioperative complication rates of primary surgical treatments for prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis comparing retropubic, laparoscopic, and robotic prostatectomy.” Eur Urol. 2012 Jul; 62(1):1-15. Epub 2012 Feb 24.

3. Ho C, Tsakonas E, Tran K, Cimon K, Severn M, Mierzwinski-Urban M, Corcos J, Pautler S. “Robot-Assisted Surgery Compared with Open Surgery and Laparoscopic Surgery: Clinical Effectiveness and Economic Analyses [Internet].” Ottawa: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH); 2011 (Technology report no. 137).

4. Porpiglia F, Morra I, Lucci Chiarissi M, Manfredi M, Mele F, Grande S, Ragni F, Poggio M, Fiori C. “Randomised Controlled Trial Comparing Laparoscopic and Robot-assisted Radical Prostatectomy.” Eur Urol. 2012 Jul 20. [Epub ahead of print]

5. “Tracking the Rise of Robotic Surgery for Prostate Cancer.” National Cancer Institute. NCI Cancer Bulletin. Aug. 9, 2011 Vol. 8/Number 16. http://www.cancer.gov/ncicancerbulletin/080911/page4.