Robotic Prostatectomy with the da Vinci Surgical System

The da Vinci Surgical System is made up of a complex suite of highly sophisticated components. At its core is the “console” whose master controls replicate Dr. Mastandrea’s surgical motions and foot pedals that control a high performance vision system. At the side of the patient is the “cart” that provides the two robotic arms that execute the surgeon’s commands using minute instruments that mimic the dexterity of the human wrist. Also on the cart is the 3-D Endoscope and image processing equipment that provides a true 3-D image of the operating field at an amazing 10X magnification.

To perform a radical prostatectomy, Dr. Mastandrea sits at the console at the master controls; the cart sits at the patient’s side, mirroring the actions that Dr. Mastandrea executes at the console. Though a laparoscope - a long, very thin lighted telescope - he can literally see inside the patient's body on his video screen. Because of this greatly magnified and illuminated view of the operating field, Dr. Mastandrea can precisely identify vital anatomy such as the delicate nerves and blood vessels surrounding the prostate.

The instruments, attached to the delicate robotic arms inserted along with the laparoscope through tiny incisions in the patient’s abdomen, provide critical increased dexterity not possible with the larger, conventional laparoscopic instruments used in traditional surgery. 

The Many Benefits of Robotic Surgery

As early as the first surgical incision, the benefits of robotic surgery over traditional surgical procedures are evident. Because Dr. Mastandrea’s technique requires only very tiny incisions, blood loss is minimal, dramatically decreasing the required anesthesia level as well as possible need for transfusion. This also results in less trauma to the body, which automatically leads to a dramatically lessened risk of infection.

The benefits continue. Robotic surgery normally requires only an overnight stay in the hospital, and, once home, patients recover remarkably faster than they would after traditional surgery. The concern about post-operative pain is also relieved by robotic surgery, since the level of discomfort is significantly reduced, requiring little or no post-operative pain medication. The procedure also produces less scarring, giving Dr. Mastandrea’s patients a much enhanced cosmetic appearance over the inevitable results of a major invasive procedure.

The Advantages of Robotic Surgery

• Decreased hospital stay (1 or 2 days)

• Less blood loss, less post-surgery pain

• Decreased need for post-surgery narcotics

• Smaller, less obvious incision

• Quicker recovery

• Reduced risk of incontinence and impotence

 • Accelerated return to normal activities


Prostatectomy FAQ





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