In the past, surgeons typically used open surgery to remove prostate glands. Technological advances made things easier, and less invasive keyhole techniques have become more common.
If you have to have your prostate removed, then you may have been given the option of robotic surgery. How does this kind of surgery work and what are its benefits?
What Is Robotic Prostate Surgery?
Robotic prostate surgery is a keyhole technique that is a variation of laparoscopic surgery. In a laparoscopic procedure, the surgeon makes a series of small incisions rather than a large open cut that exposes the prostrate.
The instruments that will remove the prostrate and any surrounding tissue go in through these holes. They include an instrument that has a tiny camera on it.
This camera becomes the surgeon's eyes inside your body. They use it as a guide as they manipulate the other instruments to complete the procedure.
Robot surgery takes this keyhole procedure to another level. The instruments that go in to remove the prostate are robotic. Rather than hold and guide them manually, the surgeon sits at a control unit and manipulates them from there.
What Are the Advantages of Robotic Surgery?
Like any keyhole surgery, robotic prostate techniques are less invasive than open surgery. If you have open surgery, then you have to recover from a large incision. Robotic techniques only leave you with a series of small holes.
So, you aren't likely to be in as much pain after this kind of surgery. There is also a reduced risk of blood loss and infection after the procedure. You'll have less scarring.
Also, your recovery time is typically a lot quicker. You're likely to be discharged from hospital sooner.
While you still need to rest and take things easy for a while, you'll be more comfortable and able to do more things more quickly. You may not need to have a catheter in for as long.
Robotic surgery also makes it easier for the surgeon to do the operation. While a general laparoscopic camera gives an inside view, robotic systems often give a more comprehensive and detailed view of the prostate area. They also allow for better manipulation and angled control so the surgeon can work more precisely.
If you aren't sure whether to go for robot prostate surgery, ask your doctor for advice. They can tell you more about the procedure, how it works and its benefits.