If you opt for a prostatectomy, your surgeon may recommend doing a laparoscopic procedure, in which your entire prostate gland, some lymph nodes, and nearby tissue, such as the seminal vesicles, are removed through several very small incisions using special instruments and cameras. Nerve-sparing and nerve-graft prostate surgeries can also be done laparoscopically.
Potential advantages of laparoscopic prostatectomy are faster recovery, less pain, less blood loss, and lower risk of infection than with open prostate surgery.
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.
Robot-Assisted Prostate Cancer Surgery (da Vinci)
To perform your laparoscopic surgery with the assistance of a robot your surgeon may use the da Vinci Surgical System. The da Vinci system gives the surgeon a three-dimensional view; allows the surgeon to perform very precise, complex motions; and helps prevent surgeon fatigue. The surgeon sits at a console near the patient and uses hand instruments and foot pedals to control da Vinci’s robotic arms. One robotic arm holds the camera, while other robotic arms hold the surgical instruments. With the da Vinci system, every surgical maneuver is performed with direct input from your surgeon.
Your surgeon may use an AESOP robot when performing your laparoscopic prostatectomy. AESOP stands for Automated Endoscopic System for Optimal Positioning. AESOP is a voice-activated mechanical arm used by your surgeon to position and hold the laparoscope (telescope), leaving the doctor’s hands free to perform surgery through several small incisions. The robotic arm is able to move the laparoscope in precise increments with a steadier view than can be provided by a human holding the scope because AESOP never becomes tired.