New Hope for Prostate Patients

"Da Vinci" offers a future for robotic surgery.

Released by Bayhealth Medical Center

New cutting edge technology is offering new hope for prostate patients. That’s the message from a Bayhealth urologist during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

According to Bayhealth Urologist Greg Spana, MD, the advent of fiber optics, lasers, and surgical robots has enabled surgeons to perform complex operations through tiny incisions or through no incision at all. This has been a “game changer” for prostate surgeries.

In addition to reducing pain and shortening recovery times, minimally invasive surgeries such as da Vinci Robotic surgery, allows for greater precision by the surgeon.

“Robotic surgery for prostate and kidney cancer provides the surgeon with a magnified 3D view of the operative field and unmatched precision when cutting out tumors and sewing tissue together,” said Dr. Spana.

The enhanced 3D magnification gives the surgeon a better view, allowing him to make more precise incisions to minimize blood loss and preserve tissue and nerves. For example, a urological surgeon may utilize robotic surgery to perform a prostatectomy and remove cancerous prostates through five small incisions of five to eight millimeters each. That compares to traditional “open” prostatectomies in which a surgeon would typically need to perform a six to eight inch incision from the pubic bone toward the umbilical area. The open surgeries typically required patients to be hospitalized for two to three days but, with robotic surgery, a patient usually requires only overnight hospitalization.

Robotic surgeries are also making a dramatic difference for kidney cancer patients who previously received a long open incision on their flank, had part of their ribcage removed, and endured an entire kidney resection. Open surgeries for kidney cancer frequently left patients in pain and recovering for three to five days in the hospital. By contrast, robotic surgery allows surgeons to preserve most of the kidney while resecting only the tumorous tissue. These patients suffer far less pain and may usually return home within two days.

“The development of minimally invasive surgeries has optimized outcomes for our patients while allowing them to recover and return to their activities far more quickly. It’s revolutionizing the world of surgery,” said Dr. Spana.