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da Vinci "S" Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery: What Do You Need to Know?

Suppose you're told that you have prostate cancer. (Or that someone you love is facing this diagnosis.)

There are a number of good non-surgical options for cancer of the prostate, including watchful waiting, brachytherapy (implanting radioactive iodine pellets directly into the prostate), external beam radiation and drug treatments to shrink the cancer. However, your doctor says that for you, prostatectomy—surgery to remove the prostate—offers the best chance of a cure.

Now you have a decision to make: Open surgery or minimally invasive?

Traditional open surgery involves a two-day hospital stay and a large, 6–8 inch incision, as well as a risk for permanent incontinence (difficulty controlling urine flow) and impotence (inability to have an erection), caused when nerves are severed during surgery.

Minimally Invasive Surgery involves minature instruments and smaller incisions. This means a shorter hospital stay, smaller scars, less pain and a faster return to daily routine. But wait! At Bridgeport Hospital there is now another option—one that permits greater accuracy and a more rapid return of potency and continence:

Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery. "The new da Vinci "S" Surgical System allows surgeons to perform more complex procedures with greater dexterity than traditional open surgery or standard minimally invasive surgery," explains Bridgeport Hospital Chief of Urology Arthur Pinto, MD. "The results are less post-operative pain, a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery. For urologists, the da Vinci prostatectomy is quickly becoming the gold standard for prostate cancer surgery."

The da Vinci "S" system includes a set of robotic arms, miniature instruments, a miniature camera with a right and left eye to provide 3-D images, a monitor and a control console. Instead of standing over the patient, the surgeon is seated at the console a few feet away. Looking into the viewer, the surgeon has a highly magnified, close-up view of the surgery area.

"As I move my hands in the console, the special surgical instruments mimic each twist and turn," says urologist Edward Paraiso, MD, one of the first urologists in the Bridgeport area to use da Vinci.

"Because the instruments are so small, I can cut more precisely and place more stitches, more accurately," adds urologist Robert Weinstein, MD. "The 3-D view lets me get to areas I can't see during open surgery—and even though I'm sitting across the room, I have superior vision of the surgical field."

Delicately repositioning, holding, cutting and stitching tissues with pinpoint accuracy, surgeons can more easily avoid damaging those all-important nerves. The result: a greater chance of achieving what Dr. Paraiso calls "the trifecta of prostatectomy": curing the cancer, preserving potency and preventing incontinence.

Finding a da Vinci Surgeon

Bridgeport Hospital has performed more robot-assisted minimally invasive surgeries than any other hospital in Fairfield County. Our doctors are taking minimally invasive surgery to futuristic levels of accuracy for may cancer patients. For information about Bridgeport Hospital-affiliated physicians with special expertise in robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery, please call us toll free, 24/7, at 1(888) 357-2396.