Leading the Way in Robotic Prostate Cancer Surgery

July 7, 2014

Doctors have made leaps and bounds lately in their understanding and treatment of prostate cancer, and this month Austin-based urologist Dr. Koushik Shaw was among the first doctors in the world to take another leap when he performed a robotic, laparoscopic prostatectomy on a patient using the state of the art DaVinci XI machine.

Robotic surgery has gone from a rare procedure only 10 years ago to an increasingly sophisticated and reliable standard of care for many urological cancers today. Dr. Shaw performed the laparoscopic prostatectomy on a DaVinci XI robotic system, which uses HD visualization and allows doctors to perform surgeries with precision that helps with complex reconstructive cases.

In this case, the procedure took 90 minutes, and the robotic system allowed Dr. Shaw to spare nerves that will allow the patient to have normal erections postoperatively. The patient recovered well and went home within 24 hours of the surgery. The precision of robotics surgery also means patients don’t have to suffer urinary incontinence postoperatively. Urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction are often side effects of prostate cancer surgery that systems like the DaVinci XI could help eliminate.

The DaVinci surgical system was first developed just over a decade ago to help surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery. Whereas surgeons once had to make incisions large enough to put their hands inside the patient’s body, robotics allow them to perform the same surgeries with more precise, and much smaller, incisions.

The new Da Vinci XI system was cleared by the FDA this April, and is designed to perform minimally invasive surgeries for complex diseases and conditions in urology, cardiac, gynecology, thoraic, and general surgeries.

Dr. Shaw is chief of staff at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, and part of the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery, the largest robotic center by volume the world. He began working with the DaVinci system a decade ago, and many of the early cases were first-of-a-kind in Texas. Since then, he has performed hundreds of procedures with the DaVinci system for kidney, prostate, and bladder cases.

One of the control panels of the DaVinci XI during prostate cancer surgery

One of the control panels of the DaVinci XI during prostate cancer surgery

Dr Koushik Shaw performs robotic prostate surgery

Dr. Koushik Shaw – a day in the life

DaVinci XI machine during prostate cancer surgery

Performing robotic prostate cancer surgery using the state of the art DaVinci XI machine


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