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Robotic Surgery Safer for Prostate and Kidney: April 16, 2012

A year ago in March, Joan Osborne became the first patient in Lee County to undergo robotic surgery on her kidney.

“I knew I was the first one but I trusted him.”

It was a delicate procedure and her doctor wanted to take advantage of the dexterity offered by the daVinci robot.

“The best way to fix it is to remove the diseased segment and then bring it together, sew it together,” says Dr. Omar Benitez, a urologist on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

Robotic-assisted surgery gives doctors 3D vision and the ability to operate with extreme precision. It’s also becoming a common prostate surgery.

“We’re able to do what we call a nerve sparing procedure for when we remove the prostate to be able to preserve potency in males,” says Dr. Paul Bretton, a urologist on medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

New studies confirm many of the benefits of robotic surgery. The Journal of Urology recently reported patients who undergo robotic surgery on the kidneys or prostate have shorter hospital stays and lower risk of infection.

Robotic surgery comes at a slightly higher cost over laparoscopic or open surgery, but many surgeons believe it pays off in patient outcomes.

“They’re able to get back to work much more quickly. The blood loss is less. The complication rate is really less. There are definite advantages,” says Dr. Bretton.

For the right patient, this cutting edge procedure is the safest position.