How Advanced Technology Improves Treatment of Prostate Cancer
August 4, 2022
As minimally invasive treatment options have become more available, patients have appreciated the benefits of robotic surgery — the possibility of less scarring and faster recoveries. Surgeons, too, welcome the ability to operate with a level of precision not previously possible. This is especially true of prostate cancer, the second most common cancer among men in the U.S and a leading cause of cancer death among men of all races, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Jeremy West, MD, a urologist at TexomaCare – Urology, explains how the da Vinci Xi® surgical system has improved the level of care in his field. “Many cancer and benign operations are extremely difficult to perform openly because they happen in hard-to-reach areas of the body,” he says. “Prostatectomy, for example, takes place very deep in the pelvis. An open approach is very technically challenging and often has a high rate of blood transfusion. Today, robotic surgery is practically the standard for surgical management of prostate cancer.”
“By making smaller incisions and helping to reduce bleeding, robotic surgery can also allow patients to leave the hospital one or two days after their procedure, a much shorter stay than possible with traditional surgery,” Dr. West says. “Learning about these postoperative benefits often helps ease the doubts some patients have about robotic surgery.”
Another important detail Dr. West wants reluctant patients to know is the robotic system is only a tool that assists the surgeon. “I think there is a misconception that the robot is performing the surgery at the press of a button,” he says. “While it enables us to operate with a higher level of precision, the surgeon is still the one doing the procedure.”
According to Dr. West, urology was one of the first medical fields to adopt robotic surgery. Today, urologists are required to come out of training knowing how to perform robotic surgery. “Now that it has become an integral part of urology, the field will continue to evolve as the technology improves,” he says. “The future is limitless!”
Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if robotic surgery is right for you.