Robotic surgery processes and technologies are generally received as a great idea, but not in every case. For instance, world-renowned prostate cancer surgeon Dr. David Samadi has recently come out with a public statement on prostate cancer radiosurgery, which he calls “not actual surgery” when compared to other robotic treatments.
According to Dr. Samadi, “Radiosurgery lacks what I believe to be the most critical aspects of treating prostate cancer: precise diagnosis and definitive recovery.”
To solve these problems, Dr. Samadi recommends SMART surgery--Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique.
“With SMART surgery, I make real-time decisions based on informed firsthand visualization. During surgery, my eye is on the prostate and after surgery that prostate is in the lab,” says Samadi. “There is no substitute for that level of prostate cancer analysis.”
Samadi specializes in the minimally invasive surgery known as da Vinci robotic prostatectomy surgery, and has developed the SMART surgery to remove the tumor-affected prostate without using high doses of radiation.
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This, according to Samadi and many others, makes it preferable to standard radiosurgery, at least in the treatment of prostate cancer patients.
As vice chairman of the department of urology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, as well as chief of robotics and minimally invasive surgery, Samadi speaks for many when he gives his informed opinion.
“Patients who lead with robotic prostatectomy over non-surgical radiosurgery are better positioned for complete prostate cancer removal and optimal recovery,” said Dr. Samadi, when explaining his recommendations for prostate cancer patients.
Advanced stages of cancer are the better starting point for radiosurgery. If the cancer is caught early or with enough time, Samadi urges patients to consider SMART surgery instead, as the differences are fairly significant.
Radiosurgery technicians use 3D imaging and computerized adjustments to deliver radiation to the prostate, all without surgical entry to the affected area.
Robotic prostatectomy, however, is enhanced by 3D visualization, but actually does remove the entirety of the cancerous prostate and seminal vesicles.
In addition, there is a grand difference between the two surgery types when considering after-treatment.
After robotic prostatectomy surgery, there is post-surgery tumor analysis which verifies cancer type and extent, while radiosurgery does not allow this.
Radiosurgery is dangerous in that it alters prostate tissue in a way that prostate cancer recurrence is more likely to be completely inoperable.
Regaining sexual potency post-surgery is actually easier with SMART surgery, and can happen in 12-24 months, while urinary control can be regained in just two to three months.
Samadi concludes his strong recommendation by saying, “Prostate cancer is invasive. Robotic prostatectomy is a highly successful and minimally invasive way to remove the cancer and arrest further invasion.”
So both surgeries use robots, but not all robots are created equal--this is something every cancer patient should keep in mind, especially those suffering from prostate cancer.
Edited by Brooke Neuman