Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen.
One out of 6 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime in their life. Treatment options and prognosis depend on the stage of the cancer, the Gleason score, and the patient's age and general health. With greater public awareness, early detection is on the rise and mortality rates are declining. Additionally, new advances in medical technology are enabling cancer victims to go on to live active and productive lives after their treatment.
One of the most common treatments for prostate cancer involves the surgical removal of the prostate gland, known as radical prostatectomy. Traditional radical prostatectomy requires a large, 8-10 inch incision. This open surgery commonly results in substantial blood loss, a lengthy and uncomfortable recovery and the risk of impotence and incontinence.
If your doctor recommends surgery to treat your prostate cancer, you may be a candidate for a less-invasive surgical procedure called da Vinci Prostatectomy. The da Vinci Prostatectomy (dVP) performed with the da Vinci Surgical System represents the fastest growing treatment for prostate cancer today.
da Vinci Prostatectomy incorporates a state-of-the-art surgical system that helps your surgeon see vital anatomical structures more clearly and to perform a more precise surgical procedure.
For most patients, dVP offers substantially less pain and a much shorter recovery than traditional prostate surgery. As a minimally invasive procedure, da Vinci Prostatectomy can offer numerous potential benefits over open prostatectomy including:
- Shorter hospital stay
- Less pain
- Less risk of infection
- Less blood loss and transfusions
- Less scarring
- Faster recovery
- Quicker return to normal activities
Moreover, recent studies suggest that dVP may offer improved cancer control and a lower incidence of impotence and urinary incontinence.
As with any surgical procedure, none of these benefits can be guaranteed as surgery is both patient and procedure dependent.