Dr. Edward “Ted” Eigner, Urologist at Urology Associates, Lone Tree, Colorado
Most commonly used for prostate cancer, it involves removing the prostate and the seminal vesicles and then reattaching the urethra back to the bladder.
Of note: One of the first procedures ever performed with da Vinci, the prostatectomy (which Dr. Eigner has been performing since 2004) paved the way for surgeons into the robotic era.
Benefits: Traditionally requires a large scar and highly precise work done in a deep cavity. With da Vinci’s 3-D vision and 10-fold magnification, surgeons have dramatic visual improvement. Combined with the high precision and maneuverability of the robotic system, surgeons can perform the minute, sensitive cutting and suturing through tiny incisions with greater ease, avoiding nerve damage that can lead to life-altering incontinence or erectile dysfunction. Average hospital stay is reduced from three nights to one.
Since 2002, when HealthONE hospitals became the first in the Rocky Mountain Region to introduce the da Vinci® Robotic System into the operating room, thousands of patients have benefited from the most-advanced laparoscopic surgery available today. Although the four-armed surgical robot never fulfilled its original intent — providing remote battlefield surgery for the Army in the late 1980s — it has done everything from removing cancerous prostates and kidneys to repairing heart valves and prolapsed uteruses, all while putting patients back on their feet more quickly than traditional surgeries.
Although surgeons are still in control with da Vinci®, they sit at a console a few feet away from the patient, peering through a high-definition, 3-D, viewing system. Looking more like a teen playing a video game than a doctor performing surgery, the surgeon uses hand controls to manipulate the robotic arms, which are inserted strategically in the patient through small (less than half inch) incisions and mimic the surgeon’s motions, but on a much more minute scale. Superb range-of-motion, coupled with a magnified vision system that surgeons say gives the illusion of being inside the patient, can lead to excellent outcomes with less risk of blood loss, infections, scarring and other serious complications.
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