When medication and other non-surgical treatments are either unavailable or cannot relieve symptoms, surgery is the accepted treatment for a broad range of conditions that affect the organs of the urinary tract and the male reproductive organs.
Traditional open urologic surgery – in which large incisions are made to access the pelvic organs – has been the standard approach when surgery is warranted. Yet common drawbacks of this procedure include significant post-surgical pain, a lengthy recovery and — depending on the procedure performed — unpredictable and potentially long-term impact on continence and sexual function.
Open urologic surgery procedures include:
- Partial nephrectomy
- Radical prostatectomy
Fortunately, less invasive surgical options are available to many patients facing urologic surgery. The most common of these is laparoscopy, or minimally invasive surgery, which uses small incisions. While laparoscopy can be very effective for many routine procedures, limitations of this technology often prevent its use in more complex urologic surgeries, including those performed to treat cancer.
A new category of surgery, introduced with the development of the da Vinci ® Surgical System, is being used by an increasing number of surgeons worldwide for prostatectomy and other urologic procedures. This minimally invasive approach, utilizing the latest in surgical and robotics technologies, is ideal for complex urologic surgery. This includes prostatectomy, in which the target site is not only tightly confined but also surrounded by delicate nerves affecting urinary control and sexual function. Using da Vinci , your surgeon has a better tool to spare surrounding nerves, which may enhance both your recovery experience and clinical outcomes.
- AUA 2007 Guidelines page 4 (Of the 234,460 men in the United States diagnosed with prostate cancer annually, 91% have localized disease.)
- AUA 2007 Guidelines page 14
All surgery presents risk, including da Vinci Surgery. Results, including cosmetic results, may vary. Serious complications may occur may occur in any surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious and life-threatening complications, which may require hospitalization, include injury to tissues or organs; bleeding; infection, and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction or pain. Temporary pain or nerve injury has been linked to the inverted position often used during abdominal and pelvic surgery. Patients should understand that risks of surgery include potential for human error and potential for equipment failure. Risk specific to minimally invasive surgery may include: a longer operative time; the need to convert the procedure to an open approach; or the need for additional or larger incision sites. Converting the procedure to open could mean a longer operative time, long time under anesthesia, and could lead to increased complications. Research suggests that there may be an increased risk of incision-site hernia with single-incision surgery. Patients who bleed easily, have abnormal blood clotting, are pregnant or morbidly obese are typically not candidates for minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Surgery. Other surgical approaches are available. Patients should review the risks associated with all surgical approaches. They should talk to their doctors about their surgical experience and to decide if da Vinci is right for them. For more complete information on surgical risks, safety and indications for use, please refer to http://www.davincisurgery.com/da-vinci-surgery/safety-information.php.
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