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
PN 1002346 Rev A 04/2013
Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci® Surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious or life-threatening complications, which may require prolonged and/or unexpected hospitalization and/or reoperation, include but are not limited to, one or more of the following: injury to tissues/organs, bleeding, infection and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction/pain. Risks of surgery also include the potential for equipment failure and/or human error. Individual surgical results may vary.
Risks specific to minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci ® Surgery, include but are not limited to, one or more of the following: temporary pain/nerve injury associated with positioning; temporary pain/discomfort from the use of air or gas in the procedure; a longer operation and time under anesthesia and conversion to another surgical technique. If your doctor needs to convert the surgery to another surgical technique, this could result in a longer operative time, additional time under anesthesia, additional or larger incisions and/or increased complications.
Patients who are not candidates for non-robotic minimally invasive surgery are also not candidates for da Vinci® Surgery. Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if da Vinci ® Surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on non-surgical and surgical options in order to make an informed decision. For Important Safety Information, including surgical risks, indications, and considerations and contraindications for use, please also refer to www.davincisurgery.com/safety and www.intuitivesurgical.com/safety. Unless otherwise noted, all people depicted are models.
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