How is robotic urologic surgery different than traditional urologic surgery?
Today, surgeons use one of three approaches to radical prostatectomy, or removal of the prostate gland: open surgery, laparoscopic surgery and robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery. While a traditional open prostatectomy required an incision 8 to 10 inches long, the da Vinci system can reduce that to about the size of a dime.
Conventional laparoscopic approaches also require several dime-sized incisions, which are used to introduce narrow-shafted instruments. The surgeon and assistants maneuver the instruments from outside the body, under vision provided by a surgical camera. Conventional laparoscopy relies on the use of rigid, hand-held instruments and visualization provided by a standard 2-D video monitor. While this enables small incisions, it limits the surgeon's depth perception, dexterity and precision. Standing at the patient's side, the surgeon must operate in a counterintuitive fashion, moving the instrument handle in the opposite direction of where he or she intends to move the instrument tip. The surgeon maneuvers the instruments while looking up at the 2-D view of the operating field projected on a table-side video monitor and must instruct an assistant on how to position the surgical camera.
In contrast, da Vinci Prostatectomy incorporates state-of-the-art video and robotic technologies that provide natural depth perception and allow a surgeon's hand movements to be scaled, filtered and translated into precise micromovements of tiny instruments at the operative site. The superior visualization, enhanced dexterity, precision and control enable the surgeon to perform complex procedures — like radical prostatectomy — through dime-sized operating "ports."
How does robotic urologic surgery benefit the patient?
For most patients, da Vinci Prostatectomy offers substantially less pain and a shorter recovery period than traditional prostate surgery. Other advantages may include reduced need for blood transfusions, less scarring and lower risk of infection. In addition, recent studies suggest that da Vinci Prostatectomy may offer improved cancer control and a lower incidence of impotence and urinary incontinence.
How is Saint Francis using robotic surgery for urologic surgeries?
The robot is revolutionizing robotic surgery at Saint Francis Medical Center by affording better visualization and more-precise control, making it possible to perform these complex procedures with less pain and faster healing. By enhancing surgical capabilities, the da Vinci Surgical System helps to improve clinical outcomes and redefine standards of care.
Saint Francis is using da Vinci robotic surgery for the following procedures:
Treating prostate cancer through radical prostatectomy
Removal of a kidney or section of a kidney
Pyeloplasty, or surgical reconstruction of the pelvis to drain and decompress kidney
Meet the Surgeons
William C. Collyer, MD
J. Russell Felker, MD, FACS
Vincenzo Galati, DO, FACS
Gregg S. Hallman, MD, FACS