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da Vinci Prostate Cancer and Kidney Surgery: June 15, 2011

The da Vinci Robotic Surgical System puts state-of-the-art tools in surgeon’s hands. 

“The advantages of the da Vinci are that one, it's minimally invasive, you only make small holes in the abdomen. Two, you don't really lose very much blood. And three, we’re able to see much better so we’re able to handle the tissues a lot more delicately,” says Urologist Dr. Paul Bretton.

Lee Memorial Health System offers the da Vinci system for a variety of surgical specialties. 

Dr. Bretton uses it for prostate cancer. The da Vinci allows him to perform complex surgery through holes about the size of a finger. Thin robotic arms perform the operation under the doctor’s control.

“I would say 90% of the prostate procedures that were doing, we're doing now robotically,” Dr. Bretton says.

The most noticeable difference with robotic surgery is that surgeon is no longer standing over the patient. Instead they’re a few feet away manning a computer console.

The more surgeons work with da Vinci the more uses they’re finding for it. It’s now being used in kidney operations and soon for kidney cancer.

“t was a natural progression to begin doing kidney surgery,” says Dr. Omar Benitez. “Starting with the pyeloplasty was the first step in the development of skills required to take care kidney cancer which is the next step.”

The da VInci’s precision instruments mimic a surgeon’s wrist movements, which is crucial in removing tumors in the kidney.

“We will actually clamp the hilum to prevent any bleeding and then you can remove the tumor and be able to sew it back together,” Dr. Benitez says.

Armed with cutting edge technology, surgeons can offer their patients less invasive options. Putting them back on their feet in less time with less complications.