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Da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System offers faster recovery for patients
For years, when a prostate cancer patient chose to have his prostate removed, it almost certainly meant he would undergo an open radical prostatectomy. This procedure involves a 6- to 8-inch abdominal incision. Patients lose a lot of blood, end up with a sizable scar and take a couple of months to recover.

Due to advances in treatment, surgeons now perform laparoscopic operations instead. Laparoscopic surgery involves a few tiny incisions instead of one large one, which results in less blood loss and scarring– not to mention a much faster recovery for patients. At St. Luke's Hospital, surgeons now perform laparoscopic prostatectomies with the latest cutting-edge technology – the state-of-the-art da Vinci roboticassisted surgical system. The da Vinci translates the surgeon's hand movements into precise movements by microinstruments.

"It is honestly a remarkable piece of equipment," says John McCarthy, MD, a urologic surgeon at St. Luke's. "The more I use it, the more amazed I am by it." According to Asim Razzaq, MD, also a urologic surgeon at St. Luke's, the da Vinci has three features that give surgeons more precise control than they've ever had. "First, the surgeon has a 3-D view," he says. "You also have more magnification, and the robot gives you your hands and wrists back - meaning you have more range of motion."

The benefits for patients are just as important. "We have found that men need much less pain medicine after this procedure," says David Bryan, MD, another urologic surgeon at St. Luke's. "They clearly have less pain and blood loss and get on their feet more quickly."

With the da Vinci surgical system, the surgeon operates while seated at an ergonomic console and viewing a 3-D image of the operating site. He or she grasps master controls, and the system translates the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into precise real-time movements of surgical instruments held by robotic arms.

"It's a totally different way to approach the prostate anatomically," Dr. Bryan says. "Ergonomically it makes it easier on the surgeon – just by the fact that magnification, instrumentation and visualization are so precise and so much better."

"I consider this a miracle process, plain and simple. I would recommend it to anyone and tell them plainly, 'If you're delaying over indecision, stop and get it done.'"

-Roy, da Vinci patient

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