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Prostate cancer blog: Penn Surgeons Use Robotic Surgery to Treat Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer blog Prostate cancer main Prostate cancer news  

Oct 21, 2005

Penn Surgeons Use Robotic Surgery to Treat Prostate Cancer

Penn Surgeons Use Robotic Surgery to Treat Prostate Cancer
One of the most innovative of treatments for prostate cancer is robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (removal of the prostate). The University of Pennsylvania Health System is currently one of only a handful of facilities across the country offering this minimally invasive, high-tech treatment. David I. Lee, M.D., a national expert in robotic surgery, was recruited to Penn and named Chief of the Division of Urology at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where the robotic prostate program is based.

There are many factors that make robotics an exceptionally valuable tool in the operating room during prostate surgery, for both the patient and surgeon. "Perhaps two of the most-feared possible long-term effects of a radical prostatectomy are erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence," says Dr. Lee. "My specially-trained team and I have discovered that by using the robotic technique there is greater nerve sparing, which provides patients with the best chance for maintaining potency and continence."

Robotic technology offers a number of advantages during surgery. For instance, the robotic "arms" filter even minute tremors of the human hand so to provide steadiness. The robot's camera also provides a three-dimensional, stereoscopic image of the body's interior, as opposed to a two-dimensional image on a flat screen. This improved perspective enables depth perception that sharpens the visualization of the prostate and the network of nerves and tissue surrounding it. Additionally, by scaling down the motion of the robotic instruments, the surgeon can perform extremely precise, intricate movements during the procedure. For example, if the surgeon's hand moves five centimeters, he/she can scale the robotic hand to move only one centimeter.

Robotic technology also offers a number of advantages after surgery. Because laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive and no large incisions are involved, robotic-assisted surgery provides numerous benefits for prostate cancer patients, including: less pain and scarring, diminished blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and reduced recovery period for a quicker return to daily activities.

Mark      Return to Prostate Cancer Blog Main


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Prostate cancer
The prostate gland is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum in male. The tube that carries urine runs through the prostate. The prostate contains cells that make some of the seminal fluid. This fluid protects and nourishes the sperm. Prostate cancer usually starts in the gland cells of the prostate. This kind of cancer is known as adenocarcinoma. Prostate cancer is usually a slow disease, but sometimes it can grow fast and spread quickly to other organs.

Prostate cancer blog: Penn Surgeons Use Robotic Surgery to Treat Prostate Cancer

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