Benefits to Minimally Invasive Prostate Surgery

Robotic-Assisted Surgery, a Precise Alternative

Robotic-assisted surgery, a minimally invasive approach that utilizes the latest in surgical and robotics technologies, is ideal for delicate urologic surgery. This includes prostatectomy, in which the target site is not only tightly confined but also surrounded by nerves affecting urinary control and sexual function.

Millimeters matter when it comes to prostate cancer treatment. Nerve fibers and blood vessels are attached to the prostate gland must be carefully separated from the prostate before its removal. The da Vinci Surgical System provides Fletcher Allen's expert robotic surgeons with additional precision, vision and control to assist them in this delicate procedure.

Several large published studies have shown that prostate surgeries performed using robotic-assisted surgery provide equal or lower rates of positive surgical margins (meaning margins with cancer cells left behind) than large studies of other forms of surgery.

Urinary continence and sexual function after treatment are also of concern for prostate cancer patients. Studies show patients who undergo robotic-assisted prostate surgery may experience a faster return of urinary continence following surgery and lower rates of urinary pain than radiation (brachytherapy) patients. Several studies also show patients who are potent prior to surgery recover their sexual function (defined as an erection for intercourse) within a year following da Vinci Surgery. Talk to your robotic surgeon about reasonable expectations for recovery of sexual function and a rehabilitation program that may include exercises and drug therapy.

Benefits of Robotic-Assisted Prostatectomy

If your doctor recommends surgery to treat your prostate cancer, you may be a candidate for less-invasive robotic-assisted surgery. For more patients, this method of treatment offers numerous potential benefits over open prostatectomy including:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and transfusions
  • Increased potential preservation of nerves and blood vessels
  • Less scarring
  • Faster recovery time
  • Faster recovery of sexual function
  • Significantly less pain
  • Quicker return to normal daily activities

Robotic-assisted surgery offers Fletcher Allen's expert robotic surgeons added precision and dexterity, which can lead to better clinical outcomes for the treatment of prostate cancer. As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is unique to each patient and procedure.

Contact a Fletcher Allen Urologist

To find out if you are a potential candidate for a prostatectomy, please download our candidacy questionnaire. Or, talk to a Fletcher Allen urologist who performs da Vinci robotic surgery for prostate cancer.