Robotic Radical Prostatectomy
Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy (RALP)
Robotic Radical prostatectomy is the newest and most advanced surgical option for the treatment of patients with localised prostate cancer. Typically a patient who has undergone a radical prostatectomy using the da Vinci Surgical System can expect to leave hospital in just one to three days and return to normal activities within a week or two. Depending on your occupation you can expect to return to work between 1 and 4 weeks.
Dependant on the cancer position within the prostate as determined by MRI and biopsy results, either one or both erectile nerves are spared by Dr Elmes.
The da Vinci Robot
The da Vinci system enables Dr Elmes to operate the robotic instruments in a full range of motions, transforming hand movements into corresponding movements of the surgical instruments within the patient. The da Vinci robot comprises the surgeon’s console and surgical cart.
The surgical cart utilises one robotic arm to control the endoscopic camera which provides 3D vision, and three robotic arms to control surgical instruments. It is located next to the patient and allows the ability to rotate the instruments with unrivalled precision and control, using only a few small incisions.
The robot only requires incisions of less than 1cm with one slightly larger to allow removal of the prostate, compared with an incision of up to 25cm for a traditional radical prostatectomy.
The da Vinci Robot
The da Vinci surgical incisions pictured on the right
Benefits of the da Vinci Robot
Significantly less pain
Less blood loss
A shorter hospital stay
A faster return to normal daily activities
Quicker return to work
Improved erectile nerve sparing
The Robotic Prostatectomy procedure
The procedure initially involves Dr Elmes operating by the patient’s side to place the operating ports in the appropriate positions and dock the surgical cart of the da Vinci robot. Once the ports are placed and surgical cart docked Dr Elmes then sits at the robotic console and performs the operation, with an assistant surgeon at the patient’s side.
All up the procedure may take a few hours and consists of removal of the prostate, seminal vesicles, pelvic lymph node sampling, erection nerve sparing, joining of the urethra to the bladder (the anastomosis) and then closing the small incisions. A catheter is placed through the urethra into the bladder and a drain is placed through one of the operating ports to the abdominal cavity to drain any blood or fluid that may accumulate after the procedure.
Robotic Prostatectomy procedure