ANCHOR LEAD: LETTING A ROBOT DO PROSTATE SURGERY MAY NOT RESULT IN THE BEST OUTCOME, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Using a robot to remove a man’s prostate may sound appealing. The surgery is typically done through a very small incision rather than the larger ones required for open surgery, and takes a shorter time. But a recent study reveals some of the downsides of robotic surgery. Arthur Burnett, a prostate cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, explains.
BURNETT: Some of the advantages as might be expected is perhaps decreased perioperative complications, shorter length of stay, but surprisingly enough, there are these disadvantages which include the fact that the patients who underwent the minimally invasive approaches actually had a higher risk for salvage therapy and they also described a complication of the surgery called anastomotic stricture, but the complication I’m most concerned about is the salvage therapy rate, which suggests that perhaps aren’t really getting the best operation with regard to prostate cancer control. :28
Salvage therapy means more heroic efforts to stave off cancer, which might have been controlled better through a traditional surgical approach. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.