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PSA Testing and Robotic Surgery Take on Prostate Cancer
Date:1/13/2012

bility rather than the machine. The robot allows for a less invasive, quicker surgery, however, the surgeon behind the console is what truly determines outcomes and education of these physicians is of paramount importance."

Media reports and skeptical researchers may disagree and, as such, repeatedly ask us to question the benefits and validity of robotic surgery. Incontinence and sexual functioning are the two primary concerns men grapple with when electing to have prostatectomy surgery, either traditionally or robotically. Accusations of robotic surgery's comparable results in these areas, paired with its elevated expense, leave prostate cancer patients with even more complex treatment decisions.

One such study, led by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, consisted of a five-month review of Medicare prostate cancer surgery patients to assess side effect variances between robotic prostatectomy surgery and traditional, open prostatectomy surgery.

Surveys sent to a sample size of less than 700 asked men to rate their continence and sexual potency issues 14 months post-surgery. As reported in this month's Journal of Clinical Oncology, the data showed no statistical significance with regard to severity or incidence of sexual and urinary issues with robotic prostatectomy surgery.    

"The media can make it tough for patients," worries Dr. Samadi. "Research is reported and taken for fact; patients have to really dig deep to understand how conclusions are drawn before letting them play a role in their personal decision making. What kind of volume did the surgeons have? What was the patients' overall health? How were patient expectations managed pre-op? We need these answers for the total picture."

First and foremost, Dr. Samadi believes one must explore the issue of surgeon expertise. Having performed over 3,600 successful ro
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SOURCE Smart-Surgery.com
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