HOLLYWOOD, Fla., March 16, 2007 — Even surgeons who once favored traditional “open” methods of cutting and suturing during prostate or bladder-cancer operations have learned to love the joystick-operated robot, said Timothy G. Wilson, M.D., director of the Prostate Cancer Program at City of Hope Cancer Center, at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s 12th Annual Conference, March 14-18.
Studies show that men undergoing radical prostatectomy go home sooner and regain bladder control and sexual function weeks earlier when the robot is employed, Wilson said.
“If you can save somebody three months of diaper time, that’s important,” he said, noting that patients’ two top postoperative worries are incontinence and impotence. Wilson predicted Food and Drug go-ahead for other manufacturers’ robotic devices in the next few years, bringing competition to a field now dominated by Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci device, approved in 2000 to perform advanced surgical techniques.
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