The prostate is surrounded by delicate nerves that support erectile function. Most patients are candidates for what is known as a nerve-sparing prostatectomy. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the cancerous prostate while taking extra steps to preserve these critical nerves.
Results from recent studies, including those using patient questionnaires, show that men who have da Vinci® Surgery and who are potent prior to surgery experience a faster recovery of erectile function (defined as an erection sufficient for intercourse) as compared to those who have traditional open surgery.1,2 Talk to your surgeon about reasonable expectations for recovery of erectile function and ask about a rehabilitation program that may include exercises and drug therapy.
Radiation and Sexual Function
Radiation can cause long-term damage to the nerves and important structures involved in erectile function. Studies show many patients undergoing brachytherapy or external beam radiation treatment develop erectile dysfunction - as many as 50%.3 Many radiation patients are also placed on hormone therapy, which can have an immediate negative impact on erectile function.2
da Vinci Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer
- Ficarra V, Novara G, Fracalanza S, D'Elia C, Secco S, Iafrate M, Cavalleri S, Artibani W. A prospective, non-randomized trial comparing robot-assisted laparoscopic and retropubic radical prostatectomy in one European institution. BJU Int. 2009 Aug;104(4):534-9. Epub 2009 Mar 5.
- Rocco B, Matei DV, Melegari S, Ospina JC, Mazzoleni F, Errico G, Mastropasqua M, Santoro L, Detti S, de Cobelli O. Robotic vs open prostatectomy in a laparoscopically naive centre: a matched-pair analysis. BJU Int. 2009 Oct;104(7):991-5. Epub 2009 May 5.
- Merrick G. Erectile function after prostate brachytherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005 Jun; 62(2): 437-47
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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PN 1002346 Rev A 04/2013 U 07/09/2012