Da Vinci robotic prostatectomy is the removal of the prostate gland, seminal vesicles, and sometimes lymph nodes for the purpose of curing prostate cancer.
Instead of making one large cut through the muscle of the abdomen, the da Vinci robotic approach uses 6 small 1/4 inch cuts that do not cut any muscle. Through these cuts instruments are placed into the abdomen along with a camera that enlarges the view to 12 times magnification. The da Vinci robot is a tool used to hold the laparoscopic instruments and camera improving the precision, vision, and skill with surgeons can perform the operation. The operation itself entails removal of the seminal vesicles and prostate while selectively preserving the muscles that help with urinary control, and the nerves that help with erectile function. The prostate sits between the bladder and penis, with a portion of the urine channel running through it. After the prostate is removed, the bladder is re-attached to the urethra with sutures, just as in open surgery but with the magnification and delicate precision of laparoscopic surgery and da Vinci Robotics.