Effective management of prostate cancer surgery through advanced technology | The Financial Express

Effective management of prostate cancer surgery through advanced technology

The most effective form of treatment for prostate cancer is surgery; however, open surgery carries with it the potential for complication-based morbidity.

Effective management of prostate cancer surgery through advanced technology
Over the years, technology has made major headway in the field of surgery. (File)

By Dr. Abhay Kumar

In India, prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Like the majority of other cancers, prostate cancer is difficult to diagnose in its early stages, as individuals don’t show any symptoms until the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage. The prevalence of prostate cancer is massive and is estimated to be the second most common type of cancer in India, especially among older men in metropolitan cities such as Kolkata, Bangalore, and Pune. Statistics have shown it to be one of the top ten leading cancers that occur in men in cities other than the metros.

Often times, the symptoms of prostate cancer are painful and frequent urination, bloody urine, and the frequent occurrence of UTIs, which are neglected as they are thought to be a natural by-product of aging. This leads to untimely detection and reduced chances of efficient treatment, which is why it is important to get regular screening and blood tests done, especially if one is in a high-risk zone.

Following a successful diagnosis of prostate cancer, the speed at which the cancer cells are growing inside the prostate determines the multi-disciplinary course of treatment for prostate cancer. Early and mid-stages can be controlled using chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or surgical intervention. Advanced stages are usually treated with prostatectomy or immunotherapy. The speed at which the cancer cells are growing inside the prostate determines the multi-disciplinary course of treatment for prostate cancer. Surgery is deemed to be the most common form of treatment for prostate cancer, with the target of removing the cancerous cells from the prostate gland and the adjoining areas.

Over the years, technology has made major headway in the field of surgery. From integrating AI in healthcare management to employing surgical robots to perform complicated surgeries with utmost precision, innovation in healthcare has most certainly furthered the field of patient care and outcome. Even common complications of prostate surgery, like urine incontinency, could now be managed with the latest technological advancements and a surgeon’s expertise.

The minimally invasive method for the management of prostate cancer

The most effective form of treatment for prostate cancer is surgery; however, open surgery carries with it the potential for complication-based morbidity. Hence, minimally invasive surgeries such as laparoscopic and robotic prostatectomy, which offer patients a quick recovery and allow them to return back to their usual selves with little to no complications, are preferred and regarded as the “gold standard” for cancer management.

Robotic-assisted surgeries performed with surgical systems such as DaVinci, which has a 3D high-definition magnified vision system as well as tiny wristed tools that can flex and twist far more than a human hand, allow surgeons to operate with just a few tiny incisions. Hence, when compared to standard open surgery with identical cure rates, these minimally invasive methods have the advantage of enhanced cosmetics, less pain, less blood loss, and shorter hospital stays.

Most common post-surgery complications like urine incontinence or erectile dysfunction be managed by advanced tech

Erectile dysfunction or urinary incontinence is a known potential complication of the surgery in patients with clinically localised prostate cancer. On the other hand, urinary incontinence—the loss of bladder control—is a common issue that can lead to not only physiological problems but also psychological and situational stress on a person. It can lead to embarrassment for the patient in social settings as well as make the person uncomfortable. The foremost goal of any medical intervention is to ensure that the patient has a comfortable life post-procedure.

Within a year, approximately 40 to 50 percent of males will have recovered to their pre-treatment function, and approximately 30 to 60 percent of patients will have recovered to their pre-treatment function after two years. These rates are highly variable depending on the surgeon and the level of “nerve sparing” that can be accomplished during surgery, which is only possible with minimally invasive surgeries done through robotics.

In a recent case of an elderly male doctor whose PSA level was high, he underwent a biopsy, which came back negative. Prostate cancer can be a bit sneaky; however, a high PSA level should always be tested immediately to ensure an early diagnosis. one more / repeat  biopsy confirmed the presence of adenocarcinoma in his prostate gland.

After careful consideration, we decided to do a robotic-assisted prostatectomy, which was performed using the da Vinci surgical system, which allows for less invasive removal of the prostate gland. Three-dimensional stereoscopic vision, articulating tools, and scaled-down movements that minimise tremors are all potential benefits for the patient.

Robotic-assisted prostatectomy: even though the patient had co-morbidities like diabetes and hypertension along with a history of brain surgery, the surgery went extremely precisely and smoothly under the guidance of the three-dimensional stereoscopic vision of the robotic arm. The extreme precision offered by the robot ascertained the non-occurrence of urinary incontinence, less pain, less blood, and a lower risk of failure. As a result, the patient could go back to his usual self in a few days.

The main goals in treating prostate cancer are to remove the cancerous part and to make sure that the patient does not end up with the condition of urinary incontinence. Therefore, there has been an increase in the number of urologic procedures performed with robotic assistance. Urine incontinence is one of the potential complications, but, by virtue of the surgical skill and dexterity provided by the robot, even these can be very well managed. The main goals in treating prostate cancer are to remove the cancerous part and to make sure that the patient does not end up with the condition of urinary incontinence. Therefore, there has been an increase in the number of urologic procedures performed with robotic assistance.

(The author is an Urologist, Uro-Oncologist & Robotic Surgeon, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, Kolkata . Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)

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First published on: 29-11-2022 at 09:00 IST