Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Simple Prostatectomy

MIUI In the News

WJAR-TV Health Check: Miriam Hospital first in New England to use robot to treat enlarged prostates.

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Robot-assisted laparoscopic simple prostatectomy is a minimally invasive surgical treatment for patients with an enlargement of the prostate.  This procedure is ideal for men with extreme enlargement of the prostate, a size of 100 grams or more, and for those with significant obstruction or urinary retention concerns.

The First Robot-Assisted Simple Prostatectomy in New England

In June 2017, the MIUI successfully performed the first robot-assisted simple prostatectomy for BPH in New England.

Previously performed as an open surgery with a larger incision, a robot-assisted simple prostatectomy allows the surgeon to more precisely remove the inner part of the prostate, a procedure called enucleation, while allowing the outside of the prostate to remain.  A robot-assisted simple prostatectomy has longer lasting benefits when compared to other treatment options.

The da Vinci Surgical System

At the Minimally Invasive Urology Institute, we were early adopters of minimally invasive, robot-assisted surgery. The da Vinci Surgical System is a state-of-the-art surgical robot that gives surgeons more precise views of the prostate and surrounding tissue, as well as greater dexterity. Benefits of robot-assisted laparoscopic simple prostatectomy surgery could include:

  • Smaller surgical incisions of one inch or less
  • More precise reconstruction of the bladder and urethra
  • Less blood loss and need for blood transfusion during and after the surgery
  • Reduced postoperative pain and discomfort
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster overall recovery

With the da Vinci Surgical System the surgeon controls the robot from a remote console that precisely translates hand, wrist and finger movements to the robotic arms that manipulate miniature surgical instruments within the patient. The video screen provides a three-dimensional, magnified view of those movements. Using the robot, the surgeon makes small keyhole openings rather than a single large incision. The surgeon then completes the surgery through the small openings.

Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Simple Prostatectomy and BPH

A robot-assisted laparoscopic simple prostatectomy, to treat BPH, should not be confused with a robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, performed to treat prostate cancer.  During a simple prostatectomy, just the core of the prostate is removed, compared to the removal of the entire prostate gland, seminal vesicles, vas deferens, and sometimes nerves and pelvic lymph nodes during radical prostatectomy.  Unlike the potential of urinary incontinence or erectile issues following a radical prostatectomy, there is minimal effect following robot-assisted simple prostatectomy.  Because the entire prostate is not removed, men should continue to be screened for prostate cancer by their urologist.

Signs of BPH:

  • Urgent or frequent need to urinate during the day and at night
  • A slow or weak urinary stream
  • Difficulty completely emptying the bladder
  • Difficulty or delay in starting urination
  • A urinary stream that starts and stops

For more information, or to refer a patient, contact us at 401-793-5400 or email MIUItmh@lifespan.org.