Robotic prostatectomy is offered by urologists at UCLA as a treatment approach for patients with early stage prostate cancer. It offers a minimally invasive treatment with less blood loss and a more rapid overall recovery. The robotically-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy is performed at UCLA Urology by Karim Chamie, MD, MSHS, Arnold Chin, MD, PhD, Mark S. Litwin, MD, MPH, Robert Reiter, MD, and Chris Saigal, MD, MPH using the da Vinci robot.
A robotically assisted procedure puts the advantages of minimally invasive surgery in the hands of skilled UCLA cancer surgeons who have a wealth of experience in treating prostate cancer through open surgery. These tools allow them to apply their skills in successfully treating prostate cancer in a minimally invasive procedure while sparing nerves to preserve potency and sparing continence to preserve urinary control. The robotically assisted procedure is performed using five or six keyhole incisions, and offers the advantages of reduced blood loss, reduced pain, shorter hospital stays and a significantly faster recovery. Robotic tools offer freedom of motion that is similar to that of the human hand; an improvement over the traditional laparoscopic tools. They can also scale their motions to achieve much more precise and fine movements without tremor. Visualization is improved with a more mobile camera system that provides a three-dimensional view.
UCLA Urology robotic surgeons have been offering outpatient prostatectomy since 2011 for appropriate patients. Men are discharged to home the same day of surgery instead of remaining in the hospital overnight, as is customary. Same-day surgery for prostate cancer is made possible by the extremely low risk of bleeding and need for blood transfusions (<1%), as well as the low degree of pain associated with robotic surgery. Men usually return to their physician’s office the morning after surgery for a routine check and within one week to remove either a urethral or suprapubic tube that drains the bladder following surgery (so called urethral catheterless surgery). UCLA Urology surgeons also no longer use abdominal drains in appropriate patients following this surgery, reducing discomfort and bother associated with the surgery. Outpatient, or same-day, prostatectomy is particularly suited for young men without any prior health conditions.
Same-day Robotic-assisted Prostatectomy at UCLA >
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in American men, with approximately 241,740 new cases expected in the United States this year. Advances in screening combined with the latest treatment options have led to a decrease in prostate cancer related deaths, with a decline from more than 40,000 deaths in the early 1990s to an estimated 28,170 in 2012.
UCLA Urology's Prostate Cancer Program is recognized internationally as one of the premier prostate programs in the world both for its cutting edge research and clinical programs. UCLA is one of only 9 centers nationwide recognized as a Center of Excellence in Prostate Cancer and is funded, for a second 5-year period, by an $11 million "SPORE" (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) grant from the National Cancer Institute for prostate cancer research. UCLA's Prostate Cancer Program is committed to providing the full spectrum of cancer care for its patients, based on the belief that no single treatment is right for every individual. Uniquely, patient care at UCLA is integrated closely with our research mission in order to advance the state of the art. Examples of this include the integration of quality of life assessments with treatment for early stage disease and the availability of clinical trials stemming from UCLA research and beyond for men with locally advanced and metastatic cancers.
The UCLA Department of Urology collaborated with the Department of Surgery to open the Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology (CASIT) in 2002. The Center promotes clinical, educational and research use of surgical robots and digital imaging in surgery and medicine. Using a robotic surgical system, urologists at UCLA are able to perform operations more precisely than ever before. The system filters the surgeon's hand tremors and allows better range of motion, which ultimately will narrow the deviation in surgical skill among surgeons and result in less discomfort and quicker recovery times for patients. Faculty members in the Department of Urology are also training other surgeons in minimally invasive surgery. CASIT website >
The robotic system was originally developed by the Department of Defense for use as a robotic surgeon for the battlefield and is approved by the FDA. The system replicates the surgeon's hand movements realtime in laparoscopic instruments. It cannot be programmed, nor does it make any independent decisions, but rather it does only what the surgeon inputs in realtime. The da Vinci robot >