For those patients who choose surgery as a treatment for their prostate cancer, the preferred method is a potency-sparing laparoscopic prostatectomy performed using the robot- and video-assisted da Vinci® surgical system. This minimally invasive surgery reduces the time required for patients to recover, provides the best prognosis for long-term results, and generally has fewer side effects.
The da Vinci® system uses laparoscopy - insertion of tools through small "holes" in the body instead of large incisions, employed at DHMC since 2001 - to allow the physician to operate to remove the prostate. The da Vinci system takes advantage of high-definition video capabilities and robotic devices to assist the surgeon during the laparascopic operation.
Prostate surgery requires the patient to undergo general anesthesia and requires an overnight hospital stay. When patients are released to go home, they will have a catheter in place for 7 -10 days; it is removed when they return to the hospital for a post-operative examination about a week after surgery.
The most frequent side effects of prostate surgery are erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. We provide medical and surgical options for erectile dysfunction including medication, penile prosthesis, and other devices. Incontinence is investigated by urodynamic testing to assess how well the bladder and urethra are performing their job of storing and releasing urine. Urodynamic tests help determine how well your bladder and sphincter muscles work. While most men regain satisfactory urinary control, we manage incontinence by a variety of methods including absorbent products, collection devices, muscle exercises, biofeedback, and surgical options.