Shore Health Systems
Shore Health System

Frequently asked Questions about the Robotic Prostate Surgical Procedure


What is robotic surgery?


Robotic radical prostate surgery employs techniques of laparoscopy to place surgical ports into the abdomen and perform surgery under computer assistance of a surgical robot attached to the laparoscopic ports.
Attributes of the robotic system are:
Three-dimensional magnified vision
Articulating, endo-wrist technology
Intuitive movements with scaling



What are the benefits of robotic radical prostatectomy versus traditional open retropubic radical prostate surgery?


Any patient newly diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, may be a candidate for robotic radical prostate surgery. Attributes of the daVinci(tm) Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical Incorporated, Sunnyvale, CA) allows your robotic-trained surgeon to visualize complex and vital structures in the pelvis. This allows for a more precise and less invasive surgical procedure which spares crucial structures in order to offer patients a greater chance at functional recovery after surgery.
Numerous published articles in peer-reviewed medical literature has shown that robotic prostatectomy offers the following potential benefits over traditional open retropubic radical prostate surgery:
Shorter recovery time with patients walking 6 hours after surgery One day hospital stay for a majority of patients Decreased pain
Decreased blood loss with <0.05% of patients requiring transfusions
Less scarring
Better chance of functional recovery (continence and potency)



Who actually performs the operation, the surgeon or the robot?


The robotic system is simply a tool and does not have the capability to perform the operation without the surgeon. The surgeon uses the robotic instrument much as he/she would with a scalpel. .



How long does a robotic radical prostatectomy typically take?


The actual procedure normally takes 1 to 2 hours for experienced robotic surgeons. Depending on the anatomy, presence of adhesions (scar tissue) and other factors, the operation could take up to 1 hour longer.



Is robotic radical prostate surgery performed under general anesthesia?


Yes, patients are placed under general anesthesia.



How long do patients typically stay in the hospital after surgery?


Most patients (97%) are discharged within 24 hours after surgery.



How soon can I resume normal activities?


This is a decision based on each individual undergoing surgery. Typically patients are able to resume normal activities within 7 - 10 days after surgery. This correlates to the same time your urinary catheter is removed. All patients are asked to walk 6 hours after surgery with the assistance with a family member or nurse on the ward.



What are my limitations or restrictions after surgery?


Patients are asked to walk daily and may traverse stairs or steps in their home. Avoid lifting over 15 lbs. Also patients are asked to avoid any heavy lifting, exerting or excessive physical activity.



Can the robotic equipment malfunction during the surgery and if so, what happens then?


The robotic surgical system is meticulously maintained by the hospital and a company service representative. However, if the robotic system mechanically fails during surgery, the procedure would be completed laparoscopically or by converting to an open surgical technique.



Are you a candidate for the latest treatment option for prostate cancer?


For more information, ask your physician or call 410-822-5552 .


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