da Vinci Prostatectomy
Da Vinci prostatectomy refers to a technique in current widespread use to remove the prostate. It is actually done by using a sophisticated surgical assistant called the da Vinci robot that assists the surgeon remove the prostate laparoscopically. This device is manufactured by the Intuitive Company, and the company website has many details regarding this system at www.davincisurgery.com. The operation itself is very similar to the standard prostatectomy described above, with the same structures being removed. The da Vinci robot assists the surgeon by providing excellent visibility and fine movements of small surgical arms within the pelvis. The robot does not do any surgery on its own, and is not programmed to do any operating by itself: it is completely controlled by the surgeon.
Currently over half of all prostatectomies done in the United States are being done robotically. Potential advantages include less blood loss, shorter hospitalization, less postoperative discomfort, and a faster return to employment and normal activities. It is important to remember that all of the same potential complications can occur as with standard prostatectomy as noted above.