Prostate Cancer Surgery

For the majority of patients, the most effective treatment option for prostate cancer usually involves surgical removal of the prostate, also known as a prostatectomy.

At Henry Ford, we use the most advanced robotic surgery technology available today. Robotic surgery for prostate cancer provides many benefits for patients and has a much lower chance of complications as compared to traditional surgery. If you need surgery to treat prostate cancer, robotic surgery may be a good option for you.

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.

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