How does Robotic Surgery for prostate cancer work?
Surgical treatment of the prostate cancer entails removal of the entire prostate gland with seminal vesicles with or without lymph nodes depending upon the indications. This particular surgery is defined as radical prostatectomy. Conventionally it is performed in an open manner with an incision on the lower abdomen. With the advent of newer modalities and era of miniaturisation, keyhole surgery for the prostate cancer is feasible now. Robotic surgery started from year 2000 and there has been a sea change in last two decades especially for the prostate cancer. For the very same reasons, it is the most commonly performed robotic procedure across the globe. The functionality is similar to ‘master slave concept’.
The chief operating surgeon performs the surgery on the console and the exactly same movements are transferred to the robot which stands by the side of the patient with the help of connecting network. To the fullest extent, each and every step of the procedure is governed by the surgeon in the console and robot just reciprocates these movements live inside the patient’s body. The distinct advantages being, better precision, better control, 3 dimensional magnified vision, motion scaling, lesser blood loss, faster post-operative recovery and early discharge. Needless to say that more than 90% of the radical prostatectomies are done with the robot now.
Inputs by Dr. Ashwin Tamhankar Consultant Uro-oncology and Robotic Surgery at Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai.