State-of-the-art (Robotic) Treatment for Prostate Cancer - Urology of St Louis - St. Louis, Missouri
State-of-the-art (Robotic) Treatment for Prostate Cancer


At right, our own Dr. Keetch performs robotic surgery using the Da Vinci Surgical System.

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland found below the bladder. It surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis. The prostate is one of the male sex glands that produces seminal fluid. The nerves responsible for erections are located on either side of the prostate.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor that consists of cells from the prostate gland. As the cancer grows, it can spread beyond the prostate into the surrounding tissues. Moreover, the cancer can also spread to distant parts of the body such as the bones, lungs and liver.

Who does prostate cancer affect?

Prostate cancer is the most comĀ­mon type of cancer in men. Diagnosed and treated early in the course of disease, it is also one of the most curable. The American Cancer Society estimates there are 180,000-200,000 newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer In the United States annually. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States with approximately 40,000 men dying of it each year.

Current method of prostate removal

Surgical removal of the prostate and the surrounding tissue is known as a prostatectomy. Most prostatectomy procedures are performed through large, open surgical incisions, which may result in lengthy and uncomfortable patient recovery, substantial blood loss and significant risk of impotence and incontinence.

Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is a minimally invasive technique to perform radical prostatectomy procedures. The surgeon performs the operation by manipulating long handĀ­held surgical instruments inserted into the abdomen through small incisions. The surgeon views the operating field within the patient by using a laparoscope, a long, thin, lighted telescope, that transmits a two-dimensional view of the field onto a video screen.

The da Vinci Prostatectomy:

Taking surgery beyond the limits of the human hand

The da Vinci Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical, Inc. is enabling the next generation of prostate surgery.

Incorporating the latest advancements in robotics and computer technology, the da Vinci Surgical System is the only operative surgical robot that has been deemed safe and effective by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use in performing urologic, abdominal and thoracic (chest) surgical procedures.

da Vinci Surgical System

The da Vinci Surgical System is a computer-enhanced minimally inva­sive surgical system consisting of three main components:

The InSlte  3-D Vision System provides the surgeon with a 3-D view of the operative field with both high magnification and resolution.

The Surgical Cart provides the robotic arms, which control the articu­lating EndoWrlst" Instruments. These instruments move in all directions giving the surgeon greater control and manipulation for performing delicate maneuvers inside the patient.

The Surgeon Console where the surgeon sits, allows the surgeon to view the operative site while controlling the movements of the Instruments through their range of motions. Instrument movements are precise and allowed only by the command and control of the surgeon.

Benefits of the da Vinci System

With its 3-D view, the da Vinci Surgical System aids the surgeon in identifying vital anatomy such as the delicate nerves and blood vessels surrounding the prostate. The EndoWrist Instruments provide the surgeon with increased dexterity not available using conventional laparoscopic instruments to perform a delicate and precise surgical dissection and reconstruction of the bladder and urethra.

The da Vinci Surgical System enhances the advantages of laparoscopic surgery, which are:

  • Equal / Improved Cancer cure rate
  • Non-thermal nerve sparing with improved erectile function
  • Rapid urinary control with less incontinence
  • Less than 1% transfusion rate (transfusion rate 5/750 pt. )
  • Tiny keyhole incisions
  • Minimal Pain
  • 24 hour hospital stay
  • Significantly shorter return to normal activities
  • Faster recuperation

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