Robotic Prostate Cancer Procedure Reduces Recovery Time

A urologist explains the benefits of a relatively new robotic procedure for men with prostate cancer, which includes shortened recovery time.

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CLEVELAND – According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. 

And in some cases, they may require surgery to remove the prostate, which could cause prolonged urinary or functional problems. 

But, a relatively new robotic procedure may be able to help with that. Early data shows quicker recovery and a better quality of life after surgery. 

“Most recently a purpose-built robot was introduced – a new generation of robots that have one cannula, so one cut, through that comes all the instruments and camera. So only one cut in the belly of the patient to perform the surgery of removing the cancerous prostate,” explained Jihad Kaouk, MD, urologic surgical pathology specialist for Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Kaouk is one of the first surgeons in the country to perform this procedure.

He said there are some key differences between this kind of procedure and others available for men with prostate cancer.

For example, the single-incision robot goes in through the bladder, which makes it easier to focus the surgery to just where the prostate and disease are located.

Dr. Kaouk said by entering through this location, it helps to minimize the individual’s pain and quicken their recovery. They also no longer need narcotics after surgery and may have a significantly shorter time dealing with bladder control issues.

“This type of transvesical approach is good for patients who have a cancer that is not very aggressive, moderately aggressive, a prostate that can be large but not too large,” he said.

Cleveland Clinic has performed more than 50 cases to date.

Editor’s note: Dr. Kaouk is a paid consultant for the maker of the surgical robot.  

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