Overview

Theda Vinci Robotic Prostatectomy is the latest in cutting edge surgery for cancer of the prostate. The cure rates, urinary control rates, and post-operative erectile function all compare favorably to traditional open surgery. In addition, blood loss, need for blood transfusion, hospital stay, and return to full activity are all significantly better when compared to open retro-pubic surgery.

With da Vinci Prostatectomy, the likelihood of a complete recovery from prostate cancer without long-term side effects is, for most patients, better than it has ever been.

da Vinci Prostatectomy is performed with the assistance of the da Vinci Surgical System – the latest evolution in robotics technology. The da Vinci Surgical System enables surgeons to operate with unmatched precision and control using only a few small incisions. Recent studies suggest that da Vinci Prostatectomy may offer improved cancer control and a faster return to potency and continence. da Vinci Prostatectomy also offers these potential benefits:

  • Significantly less pain

  • Less blood loss

  • Fewer complications

  • Less scarring

  • A shorter hospital stay

  • And a faster return to normal daily activities

As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. While prostatectomy performed using the da Vinci Surgical System is considered safe and effective, this procedure may not be appropriate for every individual.

It has been validated in many clinical research studies that patient outcomes are often directly related to number of da Vinci Prostatectomy’s performed by the physician. Dr. Leung learned this procedure during his residency at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York, which is one of the few centers in the world with an early commitment to minimally invasive urologic procedures. As of December 2007, Dr. Leung has performed over 950 laparoscopic and robotic surgeries with more than 850 of these cases being robotic laparoscopic radical prostate surgeries. Dr. Leung is the only “high volume” robotic surgeon in Central California, and has concentrated his practice around this procedure.

Theda Vinci Robotic Prostatectomy may not be appropriate for all patients. Risks and benefits vary from patient to patient, so your specific risks and benefits will be discussed with Dr. Leung prior to you deciding on this operative procedure during a consult in our office.

What is the da Vinci Robotic Prostatectomy?

Theda Vinci Robotic Prostatectomy is the removal of the prostate gland, seminal vesicles, and the lymph nodes for the purpose of curing prostate cancer. The entire prostate is removed because cancer cells tend to be randomly spread throughout the prostate. Seminal vesicles are attached to the prostate and store fluid until it is ejaculated, which are also removed during surgery. If your cancer spreads the seminal vesicles tend to be one of the first places for this to happen. Removing the entire prostate also allows the pathologist to accurately assess the extent and aggressiveness of the cancer, which will help Dr. Leung decide if further treatment is necessary. It takes at least one week for the pathology report to be completed.

Instead of making one 5 inch cut through the muscle of the abdomen, the da Vinci robotic approach uses 5 small ½ inch incisions that do not cut any muscle at all. Through these incisions instruments are placed into the abdomen along with a camera that enlarges the view up to 12 times magnification. The da Vinci robot is a tool used by Dr. Leung to hold the laparoscopic instruments and camera improving the precision, vision, and skill with which Dr. Leung can perform the surgery. The surgery involves removal of the seminal vesicles and prostate while selectively preserving the muscles that help with urinary control, and the nerves that help with erectile function.

As you can see above, the prostate sits between the bladder and penis with a portion of the urethra running through it like a tunnel. After the prostate is removed the bladder is re-attached to the urethra with stitches, just as is done with an open prostatectomy without the magnification and delicate precision of laparoscopic and da Vinci robotics surgery.

How does the robot work?

The da Vinci Surgical Robot allows Dr. Leung’s hand movements to be scaled, filtered and translated into more precise movements of micro-instruments. A larger hand movement by Dr. Leung is translated into a smaller robot movement, and smaller movements can then become micro- precise. By replicating and scaling Dr. Leung’s movements in real-time the robot allows Dr. Leung to more precisely perform the operation improving outcomes for patients such as prostate cancer cure rates, urinary controls, and post-operative erectile function. The robot cannot be programmed nor can it make decisions on its own. It is under the complete control of Dr. Leung at all times. Use of the robot also significantly reduces surgeon fatigue by allowing Dr. Leung to remain seated in a natural, comfortable position while operating.