Prostate Cancer Dedicated Phone Number, CALL: 844-443-8362
ROBOTIC SURGERY IN UROLOGY
In urology we do many major surgical procedures. They include:
- Removal of the bladder for bladder cancer in both men and women
- Removal of all or part of a kidney for kidney cancer or other reasons
- Removal of the prostate for prostate cancer
- Removal of the uterus and/or repair of nearby structures for numerous conditions including fibroids, cancer and pelvic organ prolapse.
Traditionally, these procedures have been done through large incisions in the abdominal or flank areas. Now, many operations of these types can be done “robotically.”
WHAT EXACTLY IS ROBOTIC SURGERY?
First of all, it isn’t surgery done by a robot. A skilled surgeon does your operation. The word “robot” refers to a series of small tubes operated from a specially designed computer console. Through the tubes we can pass small instruments into your body via tiny openings (usually ¼” to ½” in length). The instruments include small clamps, cutting devices, suturing and stapling devices, scissors, etc.
WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE TO ROBOTIC SURGERY?
In many cases, operations that used to result in large, painful incisions that took weeks or months to heal can now be done through a series of small openings. The result is, usually, less pain, less blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and a faster return to normal activities.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES TO ROBOTIC SURGERY?
In some cases, at the beginning of the operation, when carbon dioxide gas is infused into your abdomen, there can be a sudden slowing or your heart rate. In some cases, it can cause cardiac arrest. There can also be bleeding from the small incisions in your abdomen or perforation of an abdominal organ (such as your intestine) that could require more extensive surgery. In some cases, a robotic operation may start and need to be converted to a traditional large incision type surgery due to your anatomy or surgical complications.
WHAT ABOUT ROBOTIC SURGERY FOR PROSTATE REMOVAL – IS IT BETTER THAN TRADITIONAL “OPEN” SURGERY?
Whether your prostate is removed robotically or through a large incision, it’s still “radical” surgery. For the reasons outlined above (less blood loss, less pain, etc.) it is superior to open surgery. However, the two principal side effects of radical prostate surgery – urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction – do not change significantly with robotic surgery. Overall, approximately 30% of men undergoing radical prostate surgery will have a bladder control problem afterwards. Depending upon your age, 50% to 70% or more or patients will have permanent erectile dysfunction. That’s why it’s important to discuss other treatment options for prostate cancer in addition to robotic surgery.
HOW DO I KNOW IF ROBOTIC SURGERY IS RIGHT FOR ME?
As with all of our patients at Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center, your healthcare begins with a thorough medical history and physical examination at the time of your initial consultation. Once Dr. Robert Pugach and his team of professionals arrive at a diagnosis, we’ll discuss all of your treatment options and educate you about the potential benefits and risks of each one. We pride ourselves in taking time to ensure that you know as much about your urological condition as possible. No one gives you more personalized care than we do!
Contact Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center at 844-443-8362 or Email us via our Contact Us form today!