Robotic Prostate Surgery

Robotic prostate surgery, or robotic prostatectomy, is a treatment method for prostate cancer, which is one of the most common cancers in men. It involves removing both the prostate, the small walnut-shaped gland located below the bladder that produces a fluid that nourishes and transports sperm, and the seminal vesicles, which are glands that help with that process. The surgery usually is reserved for cases in which the cancer has not spread beyond the prostate. It is performed using the da Vinci Surgical System, a robotic surgery system that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000 and is controlled by the surgeon. Compared with traditional “open” prostate surgery, the robotic approach offers similar results, both in terms of effectiveness in removing the cancer and regarding possible side effects, including incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Unlike the open approach, however, robotic prostate surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, so in most cases it causes less pain, blood loss, and scarring, with a lower chance of infection and faster recovery and discharge from the hospital. It is a more advanced form of laparoscopic prostate surgery, in which the surgeon inserts instruments (including a tiny camera) and accesses the prostate through several small incisions. However, with normal laparoscopy, the surgeon must look away from the instruments and focus on a nearby video monitor to see an image of the target area, and an assistant is responsible for positioning the camera correctly. The da Vinci System allows for greater accuracy, since the surgeon is able to operate from a seated position, with eyes and hands positioned in line with the robotic instruments and using controls at the console to move the instruments and camera.

UAB urologists are regional and national leaders in their field. Our specialists in medical, surgical, and radiation oncology work together as a team to sensitively diagnose and treat your prostate condition in the most efficient manner possible. A personalized care plan will be developed for you that makes use of the latest technology and techniques while minimizing effects on continence and sexual function. When prostate surgery is necessary, UAB’s robotics program provides the newest da Vinci Surgical Systems to our urologic surgeons, who are noted for their expertise and experience with this minimally invasive technology. Our surgeons are experienced in this specialized procedure, which poses less risk for nerve damage and is well-suited for high-risk surgical patients as well as those who have had previous radiation or abdominal/pelvic surgeries.

The UAB urology program is consistently ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and it is one of only a few nationally ranked urologic programs in the Southeast. Becker’s Hospital Review recently included UAB on its list of “100 Hospitals and Health Systems with Great Oncology Programs.” You will have access to the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only one in a six-state region, so your care is backed by our extensive research efforts. This means you have potential access to treatments before they are available at other medical centers. In addition, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center developed the UAB Health System Cancer Community Network, an elite group that includes 10 partner hospitals across five states, with the goal of expanding the availability and quality of cancer services for patients. Together with our team of experts, your fight is our fight.

Care Providers

Jed Ferguson, III, MD Jed Ferguson, III, MD Urology Jeffrey Nix, MD Jeffrey Nix, MD Urology
Soroush Rais-Bahrami, MD Soroush Rais-Bahrami, MD Urology
Sunil Sudarshan, MD Sunil Sudarshan, MD Urology

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