Frequently Asked Questions
It takes about three to four weeks to heal from the incisions, though most men are able to return to work two to three weeks after surgery.
All surgeries involve risks such as bleeding and infection. You should talk with your surgeon about the exact risks of your planned procedure. Also, in the event that robotic-assisted surgery cannot accomplish its intended goal, there is a possibility that other therapies, including open surgery, will be needed. This is not common, but your surgeon will be able to help you understand the potential need for follow-up treatment.
With robotic-assisted urologic procedures, you generally receive the same surgical correction of your urologic problem as with open surgery, but with fewer surgical side effects. Specifically, the possible advantages include:
- Smaller incisions and less tissue damage
- Decreased blood loss (and reduced need for transfusions)
- Decreased risk of infection
- Less postoperative pain
- Smaller scars (external and internal)
- Reduced hospital stay
- Faster recovery and return to normal activities
- Similar outcomes to open or laparoscopic surgery
The most common robotic prostate surgery side effects are urinary incontinence (trouble holding your urine) and erectile dysfunction (trouble getting or keeping an erection). Other side effects may include changes in orgasm, infertility, a slight decrease in penis length, lymphedema (if lymph nodes were removed) and an inguinal (groin) hernia.
Active surveillance, robotic surgery and radiation are common prostate cancer management options for men with localized prostate cancer, which means the cancer has not spread outside the prostate. These options in appropriately selected patients can have good results and it is important for patients to speak to their doctors to understand the pros and cons before making a decision.
Regarding treatment options, some men prefer to “get the cancer out” by having surgery. Others want to avoid surgery while treating the cancer, opting for radiation therapy instead. Your doctor can help you determine which option is right for you based on your health, life expectancy and treatment goals.
Robotic-assisted surgery is a special type of minimally invasive procedure that avoids the large incisions used in traditional open surgery. The aim of robotic surgery is to accomplish the same therapeutic benefits of open surgery, but with fewer side problems such as pain, bleeding and infection.
Generally, with minimally invasive and robotic-assisted procedures, your condition is treated with fewer surgical side effects.