Most Common Questions Robotic Prostate Surgeons Answer before a Surgery

Robotic Prostate Surgery is gradually becoming one of the most common procedures for prostatectomy, these days. Patients usually come up with a number of queries to understand what the procedure is and it can help them deal with their condition.

Here are some of the most questions Robotic Prostate Surgeons face after recommending a surgery:

What is robotic-assisted prostatectomy?

Robotic surgical system helps with minimally invasive prostatectomies. It allows surgeons to remove cancerous prostate safely without affecting muscles and delicate nerves around it. This robot is 100% controlled by an experienced surgeon who deploys mechanical arms to accomplish surgery. These arms are used from an operating room console placed near patient’s bed. These surgeries require smaller incisions minimizing loss of blood and increasing postoperative recovery times.

How does the robotic-assisted prostatectomy work?

This surgery is very similar to the conventional laparoscopic prostatectomy (minimally invasive). The difference lies in surgeon working from a special console inside the operating room. Four precision-guided robotic arms are used by surgeon to cut and remove the prostate. A tiny video camera is used inserted through a keyhole-sized incision. This offers magnified, 3-D images of the prostate site to surgeons and gives detailed view of nerve bundles and muscles surrounding the prostate. Surgical instruments can be moved with enhanced precision using robotic arms, with 360-degree rotation abilities. Additionally, the surgeon can also enjoy enhanced flexibility and range of motion as compared to the standard laparoscopy. For more information, visit

The entire procedure takes around 2 to 3 hours under general anesthesia. Patients may experience very less blood loss and usually spend only one night in the hospital.

Am I the appropriate client for robotic-assisted prostatectomy?

This decision is taken by specialists after several serious considerations. Patients diagnosed with localized prostate cancer can choose robotic-assisted surgery. Obese individuals or patients with significant abdominal adhesions are not considered appropriate candidates for this procedure.

What are the risks associated with robotic-assisted prostatectomy?

As with any major surgery conducted under general anesthesia, some amount of risk can be expected with Robotic Prostate Surgery such as stroke, heart attack, and death. Doctors will conduct detailed preoperative assessment of overall health of a patient to know the risk level.

Will I face urinary incontinence?

This depends on the following:

– Internal involuntary sphincter

– Voluntary striated external sphincter

The surgeon will remove internal sphincter while conducting all types of prostatectomy. Patients are advised to perform focused Kegel exercises post-surgery. These help strengthen muscles and helps patients control external sphincter and gain continence.  This will take many weeks to several months. Urinary leakage occurs only in less percentage of patients. A few may report mild stress incontinence.

How common are issues related to potency?

A number of factors will affect patient’s ability to return to normal erectile function. These include psychological and physical factors such as the type of prostatectomy conducted. It usually takes anywhere between 1 week and 1 year post surgery for patient’s function to return. Patients may also be advised to undergo a program of “penile rehabilitation,” involving use of certain medications to facilitate healing and normal return of erectile function. Some other factors that may affect erectile function include:

– Obesity

– Hypertension

– Diabetes

– Atherosclerosis

– Smoking

– Anxiety

Do I require long-term follow-up from robotic-assisted prostatectomy?

Close monitoring for recurrence of cancer is crucial. Prostatectomy is no different. Depending on reports of pathology after surgery, patients may or may not require additional treatments. A post-operative action plan will be created by physician based on your reports and condition. The plan will include periodic measurement of blood PSA. This is seen as the best indicator of cancer recurrence until now.