Robotic Surgery for Prostate Cancer

Less than three weeks after surgery to remove his prostate, Wayne Brown was back at work, walking the floors of the warehouse he manages. Five weeks later, the 52-year-old Annapolis man was back on the courts. “My middle name is Basketball,” he said, “and I’m back playing again and feeling better than before.

”His quick recovery is due in part to the minimally invasive technology urologist Robert Hanley, MD, used to perform Wayne’s surgery. Called a robot-assisted radical prostatectomy, the procedure required only five tiny incisions (1 centimeter each). Dr. Hanley inserted robotic instruments into the incisions and guided them through a robotic console. “With the DaVinci system, the instruments have basically 360 degrees of articulation,” Dr. Hanley said. “It moves just like a human hand and allows for improved dissection and suturing techniques.”

The benefit is that Dr. Hanley can see exactly what he needs to do and accomplish the surgery without performing an open incision in the patient’s abdomen. There is usually less bleeding and recovery time is often cut in half. This allows for the potential of less bleeding and a quicker return to full activity.  The recovery time period is usually cut in half.

For Wayne, the whole procedure was painless.  “Literally, I had no pain,” he said, noting that he never used his post operative pain medication. “Not one pill. The only discomfort I had was from the two weeks with a Foley catheter.”

As one of the largest urological oncology programs in the state, AAMC performs hundreds of robotic surgeries every year. Dr. Hanley himself has used the DaVinci system for more than 500 surgeries. That level of expertise was important to Wayne. And so was the treatment he received while he was at AAMC. “On a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll go 15,” he said. “It was like I was a V.I.P.”

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