Performing less invasive laparoscopic surgery using robotic technology may improve survival rates for prostate cancer patients, according to a study by urologic oncologists at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital's multidisciplinary Genitourinary (GU) cancer center.
In a study presented May 21, 2007 at the annual American Urological Society meeting in Anaheim, Calif., the Jefferson urologists found that performing a laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) with robot technology can reduce positive surgical margins. Positive surgical margins refers to when cancer, seen under a microscope, goes to the edge of a specimen, meaning that cancerous cells likely remain in the patient. LRP is the surgical removal of the entire prostate gland and surrounding tissue including the seminal vessels through several tiny incisions.
The robotic system further refines laparoscopic prostatectomy by allowing a surgeon's hand movements to be scaled, filtered and translated into precise movements of micro-instruments within the operative field. The magnified, three-dimensional view the surgeon experiences enables him to perform precise surgery in complex procedures, such as radical prostatectomy, through small surgical incisions.