With the recent purchase of the da Vinci® Surgical System, which incorporates the latest advances in robotics and computer technology and provides physicians with a sophisticated new surgical tool, the Greater Baltimore Medical Center is pleased to offer state-of-the-art robotic surgical technology to patients who need prostate cancer treatment.
Four credentialed and experienced GBMC urologists, from two practices, pioneered use of GBMC's new equipment in the early weeks of October, 2005. These physicians include Daniel Dietrick, MD and Thomas Smyth, MD from Maryland Urology Associates, PA, and Ronald Tutrone, MD and David Goldstein, MD from Chesapeake Urology Associates.
All GBMC urologists who have used the system agree that the difference between open radical prostatectomy and da Vinci'sTM robotically assisted procedure is remarkable. "After open surgery, my patients were in the hospital for an average of four to five days, on a significant amount of narcotic pain medication and noticed pain from incision for about two weeks. Most of my da VinciTM system patients are on light pain medication immediately following surgery and only need Tylenol the next day when they are recovering at home," comments Dr. Smyth.
"Most of my patients have told me they wanted to leave the hospital the day of the prostate surgery," adds Dr. Dietrick. "It's a kinder, gentler surgery with a dramatically better recovery. My patients go back to normal activity in about two weeks as opposed to six to eight weeks after open surgery."
The collective experience of all four Greater Baltimore Medical Center urologists to date supports the results of Intuitive Surgical, Inc., which demonstrates marked decreases in blood loss, complications, catheter days and length of stay in the hospital after prostate cancer treatment.
"Compared to open surgery, where blood loss is about 900 mL, the average blood loss for my patients has been only 150 mL. This fact, as well as the dramatically decreased pain after surgery, and the potential for improved potency, makes outcomes of this system far superior to open techniques," remarks Dr. Dietrick.
Dr. Tutrone adds: "When compared to the standard procedure, cancer control is equivalent and there is an earlier return of urinary continence. The panoramic 3-dimensional view, finer instrument control and greater magnification offered by the machine, coupled with a surgeon's experience and skill, result in improved outcomes. Patients are returning to healthier, productive lives sooner. That's hard to beat."
Seated at a control station across the room from the patient, the surgeon commands the robot to perform surgery using a variety of instruments that facilitate the surgical process in real time. Using a two-fingered glove and console pedals, the surgeon maneuvers wristed instruments that act like human arms and hands to pick up paper-thin objects, clamp, cut, cauterize, sew and even tie tiny knots.
Physicians can use as many as three robotic arms at one time to perform procedures, while the surgical assistant, located next to the patient, uses his or her instruments to apply suction or irrigation. A miniature camera, which also provides the light source, is inserted through one of six 1/2" incisions necessary to perform the surgery.
For more information on da VinciTM surgery for prostate cancer treatment and other urological procedures, or to make an appointment, please contact either of the physician practices listed here: