Robotic prostatectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove the prostate gland surgically and conserve as many healthy tissues as possible. In this procedure, incisions are made in the abdomen. This allows navigation of surgical instruments around the prostate to remove the gland without damaging surrounding blood vessels and nerves. Compared to the conventional prostatectomy procedure, the robotic prostatectomy procedure is precise, safe, and only involves small incisions that do not take long to recover.
Robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy
Highly skilled laparoscopic surgeons perform robotic prostatectomy. During the procedure, incisions are made in the lower abdomen; parallel to the prostate gland. A 3D endoscope and image optimization equipment are passed through the keyhole incisions. The images captured by this equipment are magnified and displayed on a monitor.
These images help the surgeon navigate tiny wristed robotic instruments around the target areas to remove the prostate gland precisely. These robotic instruments offer a wide range of motion that a human wrist finds challenging to cover. This ensures zero to a minimum amount of damage to surrounding healthy tissues, blood vessels, and nerves. It also ensured maximum preservation of healthy tissues.
The major advantages of robotic prostatectomy over conventional procedures are:
The patients are advised not to eat anything for eight hours before the surgery as it may cause vomiting while administering anesthesia. Patients are advised to refrain from taking anticoagulation drugs or blood thinners for seven days before surgery. Just an hour before the surgery, sequential compression devices prevent blood clotting / deep vein thrombosis.
The patient is discharged from the hospital after 24 hours. The patients have usually been prescribed medicines like antibiotics and stool softeners (to help with constipation) and other anticancer drugs. A urine catheter would be placed near the bladder to drain urine into an external bag. Hence, it is advised to refrain from swimming, hot baths, bathtubs, or any activity that involves soaking oneself in water. A healthy home-cooked diet is recommended.
Since the pelvis is slightly tired after surgery, it is recommended to not sit for more than 45 minutes or strain it too much. It is suggested to refrain from vigorous activities like climbing stairs, running, jumping, bicycling, etc., for at least six weeks post-surgery. However, one may resume work and driving based on recovery.
Some of the risks during a robotic prostatectomy procedure are:
Ideally, the recovery time depends on the patient’s body type, medical history, and how well they coped during surgery. The usual recovery time post robotic prostatectomy is between one and six weeks.
The patient will not be required to be in bed all the time as early as 24 hours after surgery. However, it is recommended that they rest more often than before for at least two months after surgery. Any activity that involves straining the lower body (like cycling, exercising vigorously, running, jumping, etc.) should be avoided.