A cystectomy is the removal of all or part of the bladder and possibly the removal of nearby lymph nodes and organs that may contain cancer. If the bladder is removed, the surgeon creates a new way or path for urine to be stored and to leave the body.
Cystectomy is traditionally performed using an open approach, meaning the surgeon must make a large abdominal incision to access the bladder. Another approach, conventional laparoscopy, is less invasive but due to the surgical instruments used, laparoscopy limits the doctor's dexterity, field of vision and control, compared to open surgery. Today, there is a less invasive approach to the treatment of bladder cancer using the da Vinci® Cystectomy. A robotic cystectomy uses state-of-the-art technology to help your doctor perform a precise operation through a few tiny incisions with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.
da Vinci® Surgery offers several potential benefits to bladder cancer patients over traditional open surgery, including:
- Faster recovery and shorter hospital stay
- Fewer stitches and less scarring
- Lower risk of complications and infections
- Less blood loss and the need for transfusions
- Quicker recovery of bowel function
The Robotic-assisted Surgery Program is led by Ingolf A. Tuerk, MD, PhD, chief of Urology and director of the Robotic-assisted Surgery Program at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, an expert in laparoscopic and robotic urologic surgery.
What makes Dr. Tuerk special is that he is an oncologist (a specialist in treating cancer), and is laparoscopically trained, which is a unique combination and guarantees expertise all aspects of the treatment of urological cancer including prostate cancer. Dr. Tuerk is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in laparoscopic and robotic surgery and has pioneered many procedures. He was one of the first surgeons in the world to perform laparoscopic prostate cancer surgery starting in April 1999.