Robotic Technology Gives Surgeon the Edge in Prostate Removal
On average, the recovery time at home for an open surgery prostatectomy is between four to six weeks; whereas, recovery from a robotic prostatectomy could take as little as two weeks.
The good news is that, if caught early enough, many men facing removal of the prostate could benefit from this particular type of surgery.
"Any patient that would qualify for a radical prostatectomy is a potential candidate for the minimally invasive procedure," according to Saleh.
However, he notes that some patients may need open surgery based on their individual medical histories, including previous surgical procedures. Therefore, he recommends discussing all possibilities with a surgeon.
Equivalent results, added benefits
"The main benefits of minimally invasive surgery include a shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery, and less pain," Dr. Saleh emphasizes. "The effectiveness of the surgeries (open versus minimally invasive) is equivalent. Additionally, our ability to perform the surgery while simultaneously preserving the nerve tissue – which could theoretically improve the chances of preserving a patient’s ability for an erection – is at least as good as open surgery and there could be an argument for it being better.
"In the right hands, you’re going to have the same result as far as cancer control with either the minimally invasive or open surgery for a prostatectomy."
Another important benefit of the minimally invasive surgery is its potential to reduce the amount of time patients need a catheter – one week compared to two or three with open surgery.
This means patients get back to work – or their golf game – as fast as possible after surgery.
Nearly a month after his surgery, Mr. Kung is cancer free and he’s in very good spirits. "I have a good prognosis and I’m very happy," he says. "Dr. Saleh monitors my progress once a week and I’m taking everything one step at a time."
Get the facts
"It is important for patients to understand their options before undergoing a major surgery," according to Dr. Araj. "If you are a candidate, it is always advisable to see how minimally invasive surgery could make the difference in your particular case."
To learn more about the procedures performed at Washington’s Institute for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery, visit www.whhs.com, click on "Services & Programs" and select "Institute for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery" from the drop-down menu.
To search for a local urologist by name, location and languages spoken, visit www.whhs.com and click on "Find a Physician."