Is a da Vinci Prostatectomy Right for Me?

Finding out that you — or a loved one — have prostate cancer can be a scary experience. Knowing that you’re in control of your health because you have multiple treatment options is an important milestone in your cancer journey.

Emmett Boyle, MD, a urologist with ProMedica Physicians, discusses the basics of robotic surgery prostatectomy, including what it is, who it’s intended for and the potential benefits of this type of treatment.

What is prostatectomy?
A prostatectomy is a surgical operation to remove prostate cancer. The procedure requires removal of all of the prostate gland and some of the tissue around it.

How does da Vinci® prostatectomy work?

da Vinci prostatectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that utilizes 3D vision, 12 times magnification, and instruments that move like the human wrist. It allows surgeons to perform precise and complex work within a tight space.

Who should consider the surgery?
Men who are good candidates for robotic surgery will have a 10-year life expectancy after surgery. Candidates must have a disease confined to the prostate. For best results, little to no prior abdominal surgery is preferred.

Are there benefits of robotic surgery?
Robotic surgery often has many advantages over the traditional method for prostatectomies. For starters, patients who undergo robotic surgery may experience a substantial decrease in blood loss. Men who choose robotic surgery usually experience a decrease in pain. Prostatectomies performed with da Vinci often result in shorter hospital stays, as well as shorter catheter times, leading to faster recovery. And because robotic surgery is minimally invasive, the procedure usually allows for fewer scars.

Here’s some more good news. da Vinci often helps with precision and allows men to recover faster within two to three weeks. Within a week, most men are able to move around, walk up stairs and drive.

If you have any questions about whether a da Vinci prostatectomy is right for you, talk with your physician.