June 20, 2007, ST. LOUIS – In 2000, cardiac surgeons at Barnes-Jewish Hospital were among the first in the country to study the use of robots in the operating room.
Now, that research has paved the way for the use of the da Vinci® Surgical System by urologists at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine to perform minimally invasive or laparascopic prostatectomies for patients with prostate cancer.
Performing laparascopic prostatectomies is nothing new to Barnes-Jewish. For several years, Gerald Andriole, MD, chief of urology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine and his team have specialized in the minimally invasive prostatectomy to remove cancerous prostate glands. It replaces the previous large incisions with a series of pencil-sized incisions. This nerve-sparing technique enhances erectile function after surgery, less pain and allows a shorter recovery time. "Laparoscopic prostatectomy minimizes the side effects of prostate surgery and an effective, minimally invasive approach such as this often does much to allay patients'' concerns," says Dr. Andriole.
With the addition of the da Vinci® Surgical System, Washington University urologists at Barnes-Jewish can now offer the same minimally invasive approach, but instead of the surgeons performing the procedure by hand as Dr. Andriole does, the surgeon sits at a nearby computer console and controls three robotic arms. Two of the arms hold surgical tools to perform the operation while the third arm holds a camera allowing a surgeon to view the surgery.
Widespread use of the da Vinci® is anticipated as the machine will be used for GYN and cardiac procedures in the future.
For more information about prostate cancer or the da Vinci® Surgical System, call Barnes-Jewish Hospital at 314-TOP-DOCS (867-3627).