Share Print

Robotic System to Be Used for Prostate Surgery

June 20, 2007 – In 2000, cardiac surgeons at Barnes-Jewish Hospital were among the first in the country to study the use of robots in the operating room.

Now, that research has paved the way for the use of the da Vinci Surgical System by urologists at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. The system will be used to perform minimally invasive, or laparoscopic, prostatectomies to remove cancerous prostate glands.

Laparoscopic surgery is nothing new for Siteman urologists. Gerald Andriole, MD, chief of urology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, and his physician team have special expertise in performing minimally invasive prostatectomies. The procedure replaces the previous large incisions required for an open surgery with a series of pencil-sized incisions. This nerve-sparing technique enhances erectile function after surgery, is less painful and results in a shorter recovery time.

"Laparoscopic prostatectomy minimizes the side effects of prostate surgery, and an effective, minimally invasive approach such as this often does much to allay patients' concerns," Andriole says.

With the addition of the da Vinci system, Siteman urologists now can offer the same minimally invasive approach, but instead of the surgeons performing the procedure by hand, they sit at a nearby computer console that controls three robotic arms. Two of the arms hold surgical tools to perform the operation, while the third arm holds a camera that allows a surgeon to view the procedure.

In the future, the da Vinci system will be used for other types of surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, including gynecologic and cardiac procedures.

For more information about prostate cancer or the da Vinci Surgical System, call 314-747-7222 or 800-600-3606.

More information:
Prostate cancer treatment information
Prostate cancer risk assessment quiz