Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in men in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among males. Nearly one in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. da Vinci Prostatectomy is chosen by more U.S. men than any other treatment for prostate cancer and is being selected by more and more men worldwide.

da Vinci Prostatectomy is a minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgical procedure that removes the cancerous prostate gland and related structures.

da Vinci Prostatectomy offers patients many potential benefits over traditional open surgery in these three areas including:

Better Cancer Control

Studies show that, compared to open surgery, experienced da Vinci surgeons achieve better cancer control - lower positive margin rates. Positive margin rates are a measure of cancer cells left behind – lower is better.

Better Chance for Return of Urinary Continence

Recent studies show more patients have full return of urinary continence within 6 months as compared to patients having open surgery.

Improved Results of Surgery Over Radiation & Other Treatments

da Vinci Prostatectomy is one of many treatment options for men facing prostate cancer. Besides surgery, other treatments include radiation (external beam, intensity modulated radiated, and brachytherapy), cryotherapy, hormone therapy, and watchful waiting/active surveillance.

Recent studies comparing surgery to radiation, including IMRT, found that surgery to remove the cancerous prostate resulted in the lowest cancer death rate. Another recent study found that the 10 year likelihood of radiation patients developing a secondary cancer within 10 years is 25% for EBRT and 15% after brachytherapy.

A study of over 400,000 men with localized prostate cancer showed that, when compared to radiotherapy and observation, radical prostatectomy patients had the most favorable cancer-specific survival rates.

Treatment Options

When prostate cancer is diagnosed early, there is a range of treatment options available. These include radiation therapy, cryosurgery and radical prostatectomy – surgical removal of the prostate.

Prostatectomy is the most widely used treatment in the U.S. Boulder Community Hospital now offers the latest approach to prostatectomy – the innovative da Vinci robotic surgery system. Benefits of the minimally invasive da Vinci approach include:

  • Significantly less pain
  • Potentially less blood loss
  • Fewer complications - including reduced risk of infection
  • Less scarring – 1-2 cm incisions versus 6-8 inches with open surgery
  • Shorter hospital stay - one day versus an average of three days
  • Quicker recovery from surgery and return to normal routine

Robot-Assisted Surgery

photo of prostatectomy incision comparison

The state-of-the-art da Vinci robot allows some complex surgeries to be performed as minimally invasive procedures. Through tiny 1-2 cm incisions, a surgeon using the da Vinci system can operate with precision and control while minimizing the pain that often accompanies the large incisions associated with open surgery. The surgeon uses special hand controls to guide the robotic arms which hold specially designed surgical instruments. The latest computer technology converts the surgeon’s large hand movements into precise small movements, resulting in tremendous dexterity. The robotic “wrists” can rotate a full 360 degrees, enabling your surgeon to control the miniature surgical instruments with unprecedented accuracy, flexibility and range of motion. The da Vinci System requires that every surgical maneuver be performed with direct input from your surgeon – the machine cannot move on its own.

The three-dimensional, high definition da Vinci camera supplies your surgeon with a magnified view of the internal organs that’s better than normal vision. The enhanced visualization and greater degree of movement offered by the da Vinci System provides a minimally invasive alternative that can be used for many prostatectomies.