Robotic-Assisted Prostatectomy – Are You a Candidate?
There are a number of factors doctors consider when determining if a patient is a candidate for robotic prostate surgery.
What are these factors?
One of the most crucial considerations is the stage of cancer. The doctor will also carefully assess progression of cancer. Robotic prostatectomy is advised only for patients with localized prostate cancer (cancer localized only to the prostate gland).
Similar to other surgeries, this surgery also poses some risks. Incontinence and impotence are the most notable of all.
The Goal of a Robotic Prostatectomy
Regardless of the type of prostate surgery (radical or partial), the goal of the treatment is to obtain cancer cure by removing cancerous tissue. The surgeon will carefully remove the tissue in and around the prostate gland. Hence, patients with cancer that has progressed beyond the T1 and T2 stages of development are not candidates for the surgery. This is because removing the prostate gland and nearby lymph nodes will have very little to no effect on cancer progression in future.
There are a number of ways doctors determine whether the prostate cancer has metastasized outside of the gland. The following traditional imaging studies are known to be quite effective in determining advanced stages of prostate cancer:
– CT scans
– Bone scans
However, these studies alone cannot be used to ascertain the exact stage of cancer because small cancer cells surviving beyond the gland may be invisible. Doctors recommend early detection of cells.
Cancer of prostate cancer diagnosed in its earliest stages qualifies for a nerve-sparing robotic assisted prostatectomy. The process involves sparing of surrounding nerve fibers and blood vessels for preserving sexual function and continence.
Da Vinci® robotic prostatectomy, the advanced Laparoscopic-assisted robotic prostate cancer surgery systems promise high-resolution 3D imagery of the operating field. The surgeons can benefit from improved dexterity of instrument. This is really helpful during the delicate, nerve-sparing operation.
How Patients Age Impacts the Results?
Localized prostate cancer is not categorized as an aggressive disease. It is also not known to pose an immediate threat to one’s life and well-being. Hence, surgeons consider age of patient when determining whether or not an individual is a candidate for surgery.
Usually, if anticipated life expectancy of a patient does not exceed 10 years, the risk related to surgery outweighs the benefits. It is crucial to assess present health of patient to make sure an individual can easily cope with the severities of surgery. Some of the other crucial factors to consider include the size of patient and any history of abdominal surgery in the past. Individuals with body mass index surpassing 30% with a history of abdominal surgery may need to go through more hours of procedure. They may also experience greater loss of blood and increased risk of complication of surgery.
The result of a robotic prostate surgery is directly linked to experience and skill of a surgeon. The procedure should be undertaken by a highly skilled specialist who is familiar to this minimally invasive surgical treatment.
There are a number of advantages of this surgery when compared to traditional open procedures. This minimally invasive technique offers the following benefits to patients:
– Decreased loss of blood
– Reduced stay in hospital
– Less painful recovery
– Shorter period for recovery The surgeon accesses and removes the prostate and surrounding tissue using a series of tiny key-hole incisions. This type of surgery poses low risk to the patient with respective to extensive tissue damage.