Prostate Cancer Surgery

Advanced and minimally invasive surgery options prostate cancer

Surgery for prostate cancer requires highly skilled surgeons. At Henry Ford, our surgeons are global experts in minimally invasive surgery. They are world leaders in creating innovative surgical techniques, including a procedure that spares delicate nerves and improves erectile function. In the U.S., we have one of the most active surgical teams that treats patients from nearly 25 countries. Our augmented-reality operating room is the only one in the world designed exclusively for robotic surgery.

Minimally invasive robotic surgery at Henry Ford is done by using the da Vinci Surgical System. Instead of making large incisions during prostate cancer surgery, our surgeons make small ones. Their technology and techniques benefit our patients who experience less blood loss, less discomfort, less scaring, and faster recovery times.

Connect with our Cancer Team 24/7. Call us at (888) 777-4167

These are some surgical options our doctors may discuss with you. 

  • Robotic radical prostatectomy involves your doctor using a robot-assisted surgical system. The system provides a three-dimensional view of the surgical area and increases your doctor’s precision and control. Six small incisions are made in the lower abdomen to insert robot-assisted instruments and a high-definition camera. Your doctor will remove the prostate, seminal vesicles, and nearby lymph nodes and adjacent tissue.
    • A nerve-sparing surgical technique called the Veil of Aphrodite will be used to improve erectile function after surgery.
    • Another special surgical technique will eliminate the need for a catheter after surgery.
    • Research has shown that 93 percent of the patients can expect to be continent within three weeks; 95 percent were continent within one year after surgery. 
  • Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy involves making several small incisions in the lower abdomen. The doctor will use a monitor and special surgical camera to provide a better view of the prostate and nerves. Special tools will be inserted to remove the prostate and reconstruct the urethra to the bladder. The surgery does not require separating and stretching the abdominal wall during surgery. 
    • The Veil of Aphrodite – a nerve-sparing surgical technique – will improve erectile function following surgery.
    • To eliminate the need for a catheter after surgery, another special surgical technique will be used.
    • Research has shown that 93 percent of the patients can expect to be continent within three weeks; 95 percent were continent within one year after surgery. 
  • Traditional open radical prostatectomy is an alternative to robotic prostatectomy. The surgery involves making an 8-12 inch incision in the lower abdomen to access and remove the prostate. Also, the urethra will be cut and reattached to the bladder. The lymph nodes and fat around the prostate may be removed.

How does robotic prostatectomy work?

In a robotic prostatectomy, your doctor controls a robot-assisted surgical system. This gives your doctor added control and precision during the surgery with a three-dimensional view of the surgical area. It also allows your doctor to complete the surgery with only a few small incisions.

What are the benefits of robotic prostatectomy?

Some of the benefits of robotic prostatectomy for prostate cancer treatment include:

  • Better cancer treatment
  • Faster return to normal activities
  • Fewer complications after surgery
  • Less blood loss
  • Less scarring
  • Shorter hospital stay

Why should I trust Henry Ford for my robotic prostatectomy?

Our team has the only augmented-reality operating room in the world designed exclusively for robotic surgery. This operating room is located at Henry Ford Hospital. We provide prostate cancer patients with a number of benefits not available elsewhere, such as:

  • Unmatched experience: Our surgical team has more experience performing robotic prostatectomies than any other team in the world.
  • Preserved sexual function: Our doctors developed the Veil of Aphrodite nerve-sparing surgery, a technique that leads to better erectile function after prostate cancer surgery, as numerous medical journals have noted.
  • Recovery without catheters: Using catheters to drain urine during recovery is one of the biggest patient complaints after robotic prostatectomy. Our team developed a surgical technique that eliminates the need for a catheter.
  • Fewer problems with urinary incontinence: In a study of more than 2,700 of our patients who had a robotic prostatectomy, 93 percent reported continence within three weeks, and more than 95 percent were continent one year after surgery.

What can I expect during my robotic prostatectomy?

We perform robotic surgery for prostate cancer at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. The surgery takes about two hours to complete.

You’ll be asleep during the procedure. Your doctor will make six small incisions to insert small, robot-assisted instruments and a high-definition three-dimensional camera. The doctor will remove your prostate, nearby lymph nodes, the seminal vesicles (the glands that make the fluid that mixes with sperm to form semen), and adjacent tissue during the surgery.

Are there alternatives to robotic prostatectomy?

Traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy are alternative surgical options for prostate cancer. In a traditional open surgery, your doctor makes an 8- to 10-inch incision to access the prostate.

In a conventional laparoscopy, your doctor will use a specialized surgical camera and rigid instruments to access and remove the prostate through a series of small incisions. This approach gives your doctor a better view of the prostate and nerves than traditional surgery.

Connect with our Cancer Team 24/7

Call us at (888) 777-4167