Benefits of Robotic Surgery and Open Surgery for Prostate Cancer

A closer look at the benefits of robotic and open surgery.

How to Prepare for Prostate Cancer Surgery

robotic surgery and open surgery

Robotic surgery and open surgery each offer several benefits for prostate cancer treatments. Robotic surgery surgery and open surgery  several benefits including less blood loss and a shorter hospital stay. “Typically, in robotic surgery, the blood loss is from 150 to 200 cc and in open surgery, the blood loss may range anywhere from 800 cc to a litre of blood loss,” Dr. David Albala explains.

With less blood loss the risk of transfusion is extremely low compared to open surgery. Using robotic surgery, surgeons can see much better, blood loss is much less, risk of transfusion is much less, and hospitalization is shorter.

David Albala M.D.:  So, what I would like to do is talk about the benefits of robotic surgery and the benefits of open surgery and compared them to one another to see what the differences and similarities are between these two surgical techniques.

One of the benefits of robotic surgery, well there are number of benefits that robotic surgery may have over open surgery, and there are many similarities between the two surgical techniques with regards to expectations and benefits for patients.  Clearly, the blood loss is much less when we do robotic surgery when we compare to open surgery.

Typically, in robotic surgery, the blood loss is a 150 to 200 cc and in open surgery, the blood loss may range anywhere from 800 to a litre of blood loss.  Because of the low blood loss levels, the risk of transfusion is extremely low when one compares it to open surgery and that has been proven in the literature numerous times.  When one looks at overall benefits of robotic surgery, the operation itself curing the patient of their cancer, continence, impotency are really the three major indicators and outcomes that we look at and in all cases with regards to outcomes, robotic surgery appears to have equal benefits towards the patient with regards to cancer cure.

When one looks at continence rate, it appears that urinary incontinence is similar in the long term if you look at a year onward in patients.  What is different is with robotic surgery, we may see the return to continence come back little quicker.  So, when patients have a robotic procedure, the chance of wearing pads seems to be decreased in the short term, but when you start looking at patients a year, two years, three years out, the numbers between open surgery and robotic surgery are very similar.  And finally when you start to look at potency rate, the potency rates are relatively similar between the two surgical procedures.

So, really in summary, the benefits of robotic surgery are number one, surgeons can see things much better, the blood loss is much less, the risk of transfusion is much less, hospitalization is a little bit shorter with robotic surgery, but the outcomes of curing the patient continence, impotency appeared to be equal when you look at studies with both surgical technique compared to one another.


Dr. David Albala
Dr. David M. Albala is Chief of Urology at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York and Medical Director for Associated Medical Professionals. He is considered a national and international authority in laparoscopic and robotic urological surgery and has been an active teacher in this area for over 20 years.

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