In the past, traditional open-surgical procedures performed to remove cancerous prostate tissue involved a long vertical incision on the abdomen and proposed a high risk of injury to the delicate surrounding structures. Surgical patients may have experienced a long healing period and possibly injury to the nerves that innervate the bladder and erectile function.
Urologists that use minimally invasive procedures, such as laparoscopic surgery, had to overcome the limited visibility of the prostate gland, the bladder and the vital nervous tissues. Urologists used smaller incisions and appreciated the decreased rate of infection, blood loss and less downtime for their patients. However, robotic surgery offers urologists the added benefits of superior visibility, precision, dexterity and control.
The Procedure of Robotic Surgery
The surgeon creates small incisions around the pelvis and inserts the robotic prostatectomy instruments into the area of the pelvis. While sitting comfortably at a computerized console, the urologist can view the three-dimensional, high resolution image of the prostate gland and surrounding structures. Through a new technology known as “motion scaling,” the surgeon moves the robotic instruments with unmatched precision to perform the finest of surgical measures with fewer traumas to the body organs and tissues.
Enhanced Cancer Removal and Control
During the procedure, the prostate gland and surrounding structures are viewed by the surgeon in high definition, and surgeons have noted that robotic surgery allows them to recognize and remove the cancerous prostate tissue with more accuracy and confidence.
Less Risk of Blood Loss and Infection
Smaller incisions translate into decreased bleeding and tissue trauma. Post-surgical robotic procedures use small incisions and do not carry the risk of large incisional bleeding in the abdominal-pelvic area. In addition, incisions heal quickly and don’t require the sutures, frequent dressing changes and drainage that an open prostatectomy would require. Generally, patients who have robotic surgeries enjoy a lower rate of infection.
Return to Activities of Living Faster
The less invasive procedure that uses robotics is less traumatic to the body tissues. The internal structures may be carefully scrutinized by the superior view of the surgeon and unaffected soft tissues are spared by the surgical scalpel. Thus, pain and soreness is limited and patients may experience a faster recovery.
Fewer Risks of Incontinence or Erectile Dysfunction
Due to the precision of the robotic instrument, the delicate organs and nerves that surround the prostrate may be left virtually unscathed as the surgeon removes the prostrate. Typically, as the prostate is removed in the surgical procedure, a temporary catheter is placed to join the bladder and the urethra for normal urinary function. Studies have shown that the vital nervous tissue to the bladder experiences less swelling post-robotic surgery and continence may be restored at a faster pace.
Technology Improves Patient Outcomes
A diagnosis of prostate cancer is challenging, however, new technologies and treatments are available to help with recovery and remission. In the past, men diagnosed with prostate cancer had fewer options for surgical procedures and treatment. Today, medical technology has more options for men to recover their health and enjoy a high-quality of life.