The daVinci Robot was devised by Intuitive Surgical at Sunnyvale in California.
It allows surgeons to carry out very fine and precise manipulations of the prostate gland using robotic assistance. In essence, it is a type of minimally-invasive, laparoscopic surgery with the advantage that the surgeon can control the movements much more precisely and delicately.
Robotic radical prostatectomy (or da Vinci assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy) involves the insertion of six small openings (ports) in the abdominal wall, each around 5-12mm in length. Through these ports, a variety of different instruments can be introduced to allow clear visualisation of the prostate and careful manipulation. The whole prostate gland along with the seminal vesicles are removed, and the bladder is then joined (anastomosed) with the urethra (water pipe).
We will give you a detailed information sheet about the operation of robotic prostatectomy if this is what you decide to have done.
Training for robotic prostatectomy
Mr Shah has now carried out over a thousand of these operations. We have carefully measured our results over this period.
The whole theatre team, including theatre sisters, anaesthetist (Dr Vishal Patil) and the lead surgeon (Mr Nimish Shah) have been trained in several different centres in the USA and Europe. Before establishing the program, Nimish went to New Jersey to work in laboratories and operating theatres. In addition, Nimish has visited the Cleveland Clinic and the Intitute Montsouris in Paris. Once we started carrying out robotic prostatectomy at Addenbrooke’s, a team from Detroit (Dr Jim Peabody and Mr Sanjeev Kaul) came and mentored us in our early cases.
There is good evidence that the outcomes of surgery for prostate cancer are heavily influenced by the experience of the surgeon. Better results are found in those surgeons who have done several hundreds of operations in preservation of continence, potency and cancer cure rates.
We have published the results of our first 500 cases of Robotic radical prostatectomy. Click here to read the article.