Robotic Laparoscopic Prostatectomy

Last Modified: February 12, 2006

Question:

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

My husband is 53-years-old and was diagnosed last week with T1c prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 6. Also, I would like to know your opinion of this procedure versus the open surgery. Thank you very much.

Answer:

Alan J. Wein, MD, Professor and Chair of the Division of Urology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, responds:

At this point, the rates of incontinence and impotence with robotic laparoscopic prostatectomy look similar to the gold-standard retropubic procedure. However, this only holds true in the hands of experienced robotic surgeons who have done a number of cases (probably the learning curve requires about 75 procedures). The convalescence is somewhat shorter (2 to 2-1/2 wks or so), and blood loss is less. There are NO long term recurrence rates available because the technique is relatively new. The standard long-term follow-up for prostate cancer is at least 10-15 yrs. The bottom line is, pick the surgeon, not the procedure.

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