The da Vinci Method for Prostate Cancer

August 6, 2021

Surgical robotics changed the game when it first came into play in 1987. The benefits and surgical outcomes were so encouraging that robotics is now widely used in many different surgical procedures.

Now, the next generation of robotics is here. “Here” meaning at Austin Urology Institute with Dr. Shaw. In the United States, only 2 new generation FDA-approved robots, the da Vinci SP, have been deployed and Dr. Shaw is one of two surgeons to literally get his hands on it.

The da Vinci SP is the next era of the original da Vinci robotics system. The new generation is even more of a game-changer: It uses one incision and provides three, fully “wristed, elbowed” instruments and a scope offering a deeper reach and fuller range of motion than the previous da Vinci system. The previous da Vinci wasn’t too shabby itself; offering only five small incisions and instruments that allowed for accurate and precise movements. But to improve on that technology makes for even better surgical outcomes.

But let’s back up and talk robotics in general and why robotics outperforms other surgical techniques. The robotics system, called the da Vinci System, was developed in 2000. Robotics allow the surgeon, from just ten feet away, to use robot-controlled instruments that feature a magnified 3D, HD vision system and special instruments that bend and rotate more than the human hand is able. This robotic surgical technique provides better vision, dexterity, precision and control compared to open or laparoscopic surgical techniques.

Robotics typically have better post surgery outcomes when compared to open and laparoscopic surgical techniques in a prostatectomy. Meaning, you get better faster. This is largely because there are fewer and smaller incisions needed in robotics. Using the original da Vinci System, only five incisions are made and each one measures no bigger than the size of a dime. Less incisions and tissue disruption minimizes blood loss, pain and scarring. It also limits complications, lowers risk of infection or deep vein thrombosis and translates into shorter hospital stays with a decreased chance of readmission.

Due to the precision robotics allows, another advantage is the ability of the surgeon to better salvage any tissue or nerves. This can equate to fewer days with a catheter, faster return to sexual function and quicker restoration to full urinary control.

Most importantly, because of the improved visualization, dexterity and accuracy that robotics provides, the surgeon has fine-tuned capability during surgery which optimizes the possibility for a cancer-free result.

Now, make that better.

The da Vinci System SP just did by providing an expanded surgical experience. And it’s intense: the surgeon can rotate instruments 360 degrees, the surgical view is broadened with a camera capable of greater degrees of movements, surgical access is narrower, yet still enables the surgeon to access workspaces while maintaining high-quality vision, precision, and control and the surgical incision is limited to one, no larger than the size of a dime. With such technical gains and prowess the da Vinci SP offers, positive surgical outcomes are going to be even more intensified. Faster healing. Fewer complications. Improved post surgical outcomes. More cancer-free results.

If interested in learning more about prostate cancer treatment including the da Vinci Method, contact Austin Urology Institute at 512.694.8888