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The gold standard treatment option for men under 70 with early-stage,
organ-confined cancer is surgical removal of the prostate using nerve-sparing
radical prostatectomy. Prostatectomy is also the most widely used treatment
for prostate cancer today in the US.
The primary goal of prostatectomy is removal of the cancer. A secondary
goal is to preserve urinary function and -- when applicable -- erectile
function. Preservation of the nerves necessary for erections can be
an extremely important goal for patients. These nerves run alongside
the prostate and are often damaged when removing the prostate. A nerve-sparing
prostatectomy attempts to preserve these nerves so that the patient
may be able to return to his prior erectile function.
Approaches to this procedure include traditional open surgery, conventional
laparoscopic surgery or da Vinci ® Prostatectomy, which
is a robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery.
With a traditional open procedure, your surgeon uses an 8-10 inch
incision to access the prostate. This approach often results in substantial
blood loss, a lengthy, uncomfortable recovery and a risk of impotence
Conventional laparoscopy uses a specialized surgical camera and rigid
instruments to access and remove the prostate using a series of small
incisions. This approach provides your surgeon with better visualization
than an open approach. In addition, it provides patients the benefits
of a minimally invasive procedure.
Despite these advantages, conventional laparoscopy relies on rigid
instruments and standard 2D video, technical limitations that can be
challenging for the surgeon. Because of these drawbacks, conventional
laparoscopy doesn’t lend itself well to complex procedures like
prostatectomy. Therefore, very few urologists use this approach for
prostatectomy. Moreover, neither laparoscopy nor open surgery can provide
adequate visualization for a very precise, nerve-sparing prostatectomy.
Read about the potentially most effective, least invasive approach
to prostatectomy – da
The National Prostate Cancer Coalition: www.fightprostatecancer.org
home > treatment & research > treatment options > surgery
While clinical studies support the effectiveness of the da Vinci® System
when used in minimally invasive surgery, individual results may vary.
Surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System may not be appropriate
for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment
options, as well as their risks and benefits.
For additional information on minimally invasive surgery with the
da Vinci® Surgical System visit