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da Vinci Urology Procedures

Prostate Cancer & Treatment

The prostate is a male reproductive gland that produces a fluid found in semen. Located below the bladder and in front of the rectum, the prostate surrounds the urethra — the tube that empties urine from the bladder.

Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland and may spread to surrounding structures. While most men with prostate cancer have no symptoms, a physician can find prostate cancer during a regular checkup, using a combination of a blood test called a PSA and a digital rectal exam (DRE).

Nearly one in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. With greater awareness, prostate cancer detection is on the rise and mortality is declining. Moreover, better treatments are allowing more men to return to active and productive lives after treatment.

Treatment Options

If you have an early diagnosis of prostate cancer, there is usually a range of treatment options. These may include conservative management, radiation therapy with either external bream or brachytherapy therapy, cryosurgery and prostatectomy – surgical removal of the prostate. Your treatment options will depend on a number of factors, including the stage of the disease, your age and health or personal preference.

da Vinci Prostatectomy

Facing any kind of urologic surgery creates a great deal of anxiety for most men. Among your concerns is: “Will my body function normally following surgery?” 

da Vinci 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. Referred to by many as robotic surgery for prostate cancer or robotic prostatectomy, da Vinci Prostatectomy is more accurately a robot-assisted, minimally invasive surgery.

Though any diagnosis of cancer can be traumatic, the good news is that if your doctor recommends prostate surgery, the cancer was probably caught early. 

da Vinci Prostatectomy is performed with the assistance of the da Vinci Surgical System – the latest evolution in robotics technology. The da Vinci Surgical System enables surgeons to operate with unmatched precision and control using only a few small incisions.  da Vinci Prostatectomy also offers these potential benefits:

  • Less pain 
  • Less blood loss 
  • Less scarring 
  • A shorter hospital stay 
  • And a faster return to normal daily activities

Types of Prostatectomy

Approaches to this procedure include traditional open surgery, conventional laparoscopic surgery or da Vinci ® Prostatectomy, which is a robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery.

With a traditional open procedure, your surgeon uses an incision to access the prostate. 

Conventional laparoscopy uses a specialized surgical camera and rigid instruments to access and remove the prostate using a series of small incisions. This approach provides your surgeon with better visualization than an open approach. In addition, it provides patients the benefits of a minimally invasive procedure.

Despite these advantages, conventional laparoscopy relies on rigid instruments and standard 2D video, technical limitations that can be challenging for the surgeon. Because of these drawbacks, conventional laparoscopy doesn’t lend itself well to complex procedures like prostatectomy. Therefore, very few urologists use this approach for prostatectomy. Moreover, neither laparoscopy nor open surgery can provide adequate visualization for a very precise, nerve-sparing prostatectomy.

Contact a Port Huron Hospital da Vinci-trained urologist.

Glenn Betrus, M.D.