In recent years, the survival rate and quality of life of prostate cancer patients have greatly improved, not only because of earlier diagnosis and new treatment options, but also thanks to the great improvements in oncologic surgery. “Robotic surgery improves the prognosis of patients by enabling us to reduce surgical margins and to carry out more extensive lymphadenectomies”, explains Dr. Carlos Nuñez, head of the Urologic Surgery Service at MD Anderson Madrid, who also points out that these improved results are particularly evident in overweight patients.
On the occasion of World Prostate Cancer Day, held next June 11, Dr. Nuñez wants to stress how important robotic surgery is to obtaining these results in prostate cancer patients. “Robotic surgery improves our field of vision during surgery in comparison with conventional surgery (open surgery), while maintaining or even improving the maneuverability of the surgeon’s hand, even in small spaces, regarding laparoscopy”.
A fundamental advantage that, in his opinion, provides 3 main improvements. Firstly, as the surgical margins are reduced, the oncologic results are better, “above all in those cases in which preservation of the neurovascular bundles is the aim”, explains the doctor. In addition, as any neurovascular dissection carried out is much more precise, the second great improvement is that the number of cases of impotence following surgery is reduced and, partly the number of cases of incontinence.
On the subject of incontinence, Dr. Nuñez points out that there is also a marked reduction in these cases, the third improvement, but above all since our vision of the sphincter area is much greater that with open surgery”.
The reduction in the number of cases of impotence and urinary incontinence following surgery in these patients not only greatly improves their quality of life, but also allows them to recover more rapidly. “These good results also mean the psychological impact on patients is less”.
MD Anderson Madrid has carried out almost 150 surgical procedures with the Da Vinci Xi robot
In the last year, MD Anderson Madrid has carried out around 150 procedures with the Da Vinci Xi robot and has obtained results described as “extraordinary” by the head of the Urologic Surgery Service at the center. In addition to the more routine procedures, Dr. Nuñez gives a special mention to “several cases of post-radiotherapy salvage procedures, which are particularly surgically challenging for us”.
In the future, robotic surgery will be working with a single port, which means fewer small incisions will be needed in the abdomen, an advance that “may be vital in diseases in which esthetics may be important”. In prostate cancer, the specialist believes the future will focus more on “making the arms of the robot lighter and smaller to reduce the arms interfering with each other and improve maneuverability”.
About MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid
MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid is an affiliate of the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, USA. With more than twenty years’ history in Spain, MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid currently offers modern facilities with over 150 medical specialists trained in oncology, a total of 87 hospitalization beds and state-of-the-art technology for the diagnosis and treatment of the different types of cancer.
This large infrastructure, together with continuous, close collaboration with the MD Anderson center in Houston on investigation, and diagnostic and treatment protocols with the participation of a multidisciplinary team of specialists, make MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid one of the leading hospitals in Europe in cancer treatment.