Robotic Prostatectomy

The first daVinci robotic prostatectomy performed in Tulsa was at St. John Medical Center in 2005. Since then, Urologic Specialists' surgeons have performed over 1300 robotic surgeries. Urologic Specialists continues to be on the "cutting edge" of minimally invasive surgery. Our surgeons performed the first robotic partial nephrectomy (removal of a cancerous tumor from the kidney) in 2009 and the first robotic cystectomy (removal of the bladder) in 2010. Our surgeons typically perform 10-14 robotic surgeries each week.

Robotic surgery is performed using the daVinci Surgical System, an advanced system that facilitates surgical procedures through tiny incisions and laparoscopic ports. The surgeon controls the instruments from a console, and movements are filtered and scaled, resulting in enhanced precision, control, and range of motion. The specialized camera allows the surgeon to view the operation in 3-D, and the telescope enhances vision to 12x magnification, which provides greater visual detail.

What is a Robotic Prostatectomy?

Robotic prostatectomy, or robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, is the complete surgical removal of the prostate, seminal vesicles, and vas deferens for the treatment of prostate cancer. Compared with the traditional "open" operation, the procedure is performed through small incisions using the daVinci Surgical System.

How is a Robotic Prostatectomy performed?

The abdomen is inflated using carbon dioxide gas, which provides the surgeon with "working room". Five or six small incisions, ¼ to ½ inch in length, are made in the lower abdomen and ports are placed to keep the incisions open to permit passage of laparoscopic instruments. The robotic arms are attached to the working instruments, and the surgeon sits at the video console to control the movement of the various scissors, graspers, and cautery used to dissect around the prostate gland. The enhanced vision and precision of the robot improves the ability to identify the delicate nerves and tiny blood vessels surrounding the prostate.

How about recovery?

Typically, the surgery lasts 2-3 hours in the operating room. Patients awaken in the recovery room, and discomfort is usually mild. The next morning, patients are ambulating, eating regular food, and are discharged to home with a catheter in their bladder to allow healing. The catheter is removed in the clinic in one week. Patients are usually permitted to resume normal work and exercise activities in 2-4 weeks.

What advantages are there to Robotic Prostatectomy?

Compared to the traditional open radical prostatectomy, robotic prostatectomy offers numerous potential benefits:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less post-operative pain
  • Less need for pain medication
  • Less blood loss and transfusion
  • Less scarring
  • Less risk of infection
  • Faster return to normal daily activities

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