If your cancer is localized to the prostate, and you are in reasonably good health and younger than 75 years old, your doctors may recommend that you have surgery to treat your prostate cancer. The most common procedure is called a radical prostatectomy. You may want to ask your surgeon about doing this procedure laparoscopically.
If you opt for a laparoscopic prostatectomy, your surgeon will remove your prostate gland through several very small incisions, using special instruments and cameras. Two different types of robots may be used to assist during surgery.
The major advantages of laparoscopic surgery are that you will probably heal faster and experience less pain than with other types of prostate surgery. The potential advantages are faster recovery, less pain, faster return to normal activity, decreased blood loss, decreased risk of infection and earlier catheter removal.
Like other types of prostatectomy, the major disadvantages of this surgery are impotence and incontinence. However, nerve-sparing surgery can also be done laparoscopically, and that procedure increases your chances of maintaining sexual potency after surgery.
Laparoscopic prostatectomy is a relatively new procedure, and not all surgeons are trained to do it. Prostate surgery for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance patients is performed at University of Washington Medical Center by surgeons who are leaders in prostate cancer surgery in the Pacific Northwest and who have performed more laparoscopic prostatectomies than doctors any other cancer center in the region.