Approximately 16 percent of American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms and is found by a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test and/or DRE (digital rectal exam). Some advanced prostate cancers can slow or weaken your urinary stream or make you need to urinate more often. Non-cancerous diseases of the prostate, such as BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) also cause these symptoms.
When symptoms do occur, they may include:
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Inability to urinate
- Trouble starting or holding back urination
- A weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Painful or burning urination
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation
- Frequent pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
One of the most common treatments for this kind of cancer is called a radical prostatectomy - the surgical removal of the prostate gland. Traditional open urologic surgery in which large incisions are made to access the pelvic organs can cause significant post-surgical pain, a lengthy recovery and an unpredictable, potentially long-term impact on continence and sexual function.
At Vidant Medical Center, we offer the da Vinci prostatectomy, a minimally invasive procedure where the surgeon guides small instruments through multiple small incisions about the size of a dime. Smaller incisions mean a faster recovery time, so patients can return to normal activities sooner. As with any recommended medical or surgical procedure, talk to your doctor about which approach is best for you.
Other benefits of robotic prostate surgery include:
- Shorter hospital stay
- Less pain
- Less risk of infection
- Less blood loss
- Less scarring
Studies also indicate that the robotic procedure results in comparable or better cancer control and lower incidences of impotence and urinary incontinence. Click here to watch a video that gives more detail on this procedure. You can also watch the video in Spanish .
If you've been diagnosed with prostate cancer, ask your doctor if you are a candidate for robotic surgery at Vidant Medical Center.
To refer a patient for robotic surgery, please call the Vidant ReferDirect number, 800-816-7264.