For many men with cancer confined to the prostate gland, urologists recommend a radical prostatectomy, in which the prostate gland and some of the tissue around it are removed. Traditionally, the surgery was performed as an open operation, but Washington University urologists can also perform the procedure laparoscopically with the assistance of robotic arms.
Robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is a minimally invasive operation performed through several small incisions in the abdomen with robotic arms translating the surgeon's hand motions into precise movements.
The advantages of robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy over an open prostatectomy are the same as for a laparoscopic prostatectomy without robotic equipment. They include:
- less time in the operating room – thus, a shorter time under anesthesia
- reduced blood loss and less risk of a need for a blood transfusion
- smaller incisions, which result in less pain and a shorter recovery time
- less need for pain medication
- shorter hospital stay and a quicker return to everyday routine
- use of nerve-sparing procedures, preserving urinary and sexual function
Washington University urologists have a record of excellent results with robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and are among the most experienced in the region in performing the procedure.
In treating prostate cancer patients, our urologists also work closely with other specialists at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Washington University urologists perform robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. For patient appointments, call (314) 362-8200.
| Left, components of the da Vinci® S Surgical System. Right, the System's EndoWrist® moves like a surgeon's hands. Photos courtesy of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
More information on prostate cancer treatment at Siteman Cancer Center.