Robotic Versus Open Prostatectomy

Last Modified: March 1, 2011

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I am deciding between regular prostatectomy and robotic version. What do you see as the pros and cons in making this decision?

Answer

Daniel Eun MD, Director of Robotic and Minimally Invasive Urologic Oncology and Reconstruction at PENN Urology at Pennsylvania Hospital, responds:

I always tell patients that regardless of what modality you choose, find a surgeon who is experienced and who does a lot of that procedure. This is such a technical operation that is often tied in with quality of life issues as well as cancer control issues, the surgeon's experience and technique is very important. Generally speaking, if you find a good surgeon, most people will have a good outcome. I think advantages of robotics will come down to less incision/pain, faster time to hospital discharge/recovery, faster time till catheter comes out. Advantages for open prostatectomy is that the surgeon has better tactile feel since their finger is literally on the prostate. The rest of the issues (continence, potency, margins, cancer control) are very surgeon and patient dependent and a continued point of debate amongst open and robotic surgeons.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. See the full transcript of Prostate cancer treatment: where are we now?

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