The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that is part of the male reproductive system; it makes fluid that is a component of male semen. Worldwide, more than 900,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year; it is the second most common cancer in men.
Widespread screening, early detection, and improved treatment allow more men to survive prostate cancer than ever before. If the cancer is detected early, i.e. when it is localized or still contained in the gland, the 5-year survival rate approaches 100%.
Treatment and surgical options for prostate cancer may include radiation, cryotherapy, watchful waiting, hormone therapy, or surgery to remove the cancerous prostate (i.e. prostatectomy).
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer and your doctor recommends surgery, you may be a candidate for robotic prostatectomy surgery. Using this procedure, similar to a traditional laparoscopy, your surgeon need make only a few small incisions rather than a large abdominal incision, as is the case in traditional open surgery. Robotically-assisted instruments are inserted through these small incisions to enable your surgeon to operate with greatly enhanced vision, precision, dexterity, and control.
Because the robotic prostatectomy surgery is minimally invasive, it carries many benefits over traditional open surgery such as more precise removal of cancerous tissue, faster recovery and return to normal activities, and lower risk of complications and wound infection. Most notably, the enhanced precision of robotic prostatectomy surgery is nerve sparring, meaning that there is a faster return of erectile (sexual) function and a better chance for return of urinary continence.
It is important to note that all surgery, including robotic surgery, carries the risk of serious complications. Patients should discuss all potential treatment options with their doctor, and understand the benefits, complications, and risks of each, before selecting a course of action.
For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please contact the Urology Group of Princeton at 609.924.6487.