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Robot-assisted surgery effective for five-year prostate cancer control: Study

September 16, 2017

Dr. Menon or his colleague, James Peabody, M.D., performed all of the robot-assisted surgeries in the study. While both are highly experienced surgeons, they cautioned that the study period included their own learning curve in developing the robot-assisted technique, so results may be difficult to generalize.

Still, they say, the fact that deaths from prostate cancer occurred in only 1 of 1,000 patients per year of follow-up should provide a strong endorsement of the curative role of radical prostatectomy for patients with localized prostate cancer treated in the contemporary era.

And "with five-year actuarial biochemical recurrence-free survival outcomes of 86.6 percent, robot-assisted radical prostatectomy appears to confer effective five-year prostate cancer control."

Henry Ford's robot-assisted urology program uses the da Vinci computer-enhanced, minimally invasive surgery system introduced in 1999 by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. It enables surgeons to manipulate robotic arms for precise procedures through a series of small incisions instead of the large wounds required by traditional open surgery, and provides 3-D monitoring for the entire surgical team. The potential benefits include shorter recovery times, less trauma, and reduced hospitalization costs.

It is also the basis of a nerve-sparing procedure called the Veil of Aphrodite, developed by Dr. Menon to minimize the erectile dysfunction common in men after undergoing traditional radical prostatectomy.

Source: Henry Ford Health System