For patients with disorders or diseases of the kidneys, bladder, or prostate, the latest in diagnostic and treatment techniques can reduce postoperative pain, recovery time, and side effects.
According to Ronald Benoit, MD, a urologic surgeon and director of the UPMC Mercy urology center, minimally invasive, robotic techniques currently being used in the field of urology are aimed at doing just that.
“Robotic urology uses laparoscopic instruments, so patients have smaller incisions and typically a faster recovery time,” says Dr. Benoit.
This technology is ideal for complex and delicate urologic surgeries, such as a prostatectomy, where doctors must operate in a tightly confined area surrounded by nerves affecting urinary control and sexual function.
Minimally invasive procedures include:
- Robotic-assisted prostatectomy — A minimally invasive, nerve-sparing procedure for prostate cancer that can preserve potency and urinary control.
- Laparoscopic nephrectomy — A minimally invasive procedure that allows all or part of the kidney to be removed through a keyhole procedure instead of a large open incision.
- Prostate brachytherapy (seed implants) — An effective treatment for patients with prostate cancer, in which seed implants are used to deliver a high dose of radiation to the tumor while reducing the risk of complications to surrounding tissue. UPMC Mercy is the only Pittsburgh hospital using Cesium-131, a newer isotope with a much shorter half-life than traditional isotopes, which results in faster resolution of side effects.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy — A highly specialized, minimally invasive keyhole procedure to remove large kidney stones by using high-frequency sound waves to break them down and a vacuum to quickly remove fragments.
If you feel that you could benefit from one of these techniques, ask your doctor or urologist about which treatment options may be right for you.