Robotic Prostate Surgery: What The Doctor Sees

Dr. David Samadi, robotic prostatectomy expert, gives a behind-the-robotic look at prostate removal surgery the SMART way.

NEW YORK, Oct. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- You've made the decision to have a radical prostatectomy for your prostate cancer. You've read the benefits of robotic surgery, you selected a surgeon, you've even shared the news with close friends:  "I'm having robotic surgery." It sounds impressive, but what exactly does it mean? Despite explanation from your prostate surgeon, it's normal to be somewhat unclear about the procedure details.

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Dr. David Samadi, robotic prostatectomy innovator, believes prostate cancer treatment should be one of the most informed decisions a man makes. But some patients take a leap of faith with medical advancements, such as the da Vinci Surgical System robot. "It's my responsibility to show them robotic surgery delivers," says Dr. Samadi, "to explain exactly how I use the robot to safely and successfully remove their cancerous prostate."

Robotic surgery is a favored prostate cancer treatment, particularly for its ability to preserve quality of life, including sexual potency and urinary control after prostate cancer. Dr. Samadi's own SMART surgery (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) takes the procedure to the next level. He combines traditional and laparoscopic surgical expertise with proprietary robotic techniques for optimal results.

First and foremost, Dr. Samadi tells patients that the robot does not perform the surgery. "The robot's instruments are merely an extension of your surgeon's knowledge and skill. The robot doesn't make your surgeon better, it doesn't make decisions in the OR, and it can't deliver success independently," he stresses.

Dr. Samadi's approach to robotic prostate removal surgery is like no other. His tailored SMART surgery has ensured prostate cancer recovery success and quality of life for more than 4,000 patients.

What Dr. Samadi Sees:  A Look Behind The Robot And SMART Prostate Surgery

Seated at the da Vinci Surgical System robot, Dr. Samadi makes five small incisions in the patient's abdomen and inserts the robot's instruments. Using the high-definition, 3D monitor and the robot's EndoWrist® instruments, he explores the prostate, seminal vesicles, and surrounding area for evidence of cancer. "Surgery shows you the cancer's border like no other test or procedure," he says, "With such little blood loss during robotic surgery, that assessment is even better than with traditional or laparoscopic surgery."

The robot translates Dr. Samadi's every motion with extreme dexterity as he removes the cancerous prostate from the inside out. SMART surgery involves no unnecessary cutting of the endo pelvic fascia, the urinary sphincter, or the neurovascular bundles. He's also changed up how the dorsal vein is handled by not suturing it till the end of the procedure.

The entire procedure takes less than three hours and each tailored steps is performed with the end in mind. After SMART surgery, the cancer is gone, the PSA returns to zero, and sexual function and urinary control shortly follow. Dr. Samadi's patients are typically up and out of the hospital the next day and back to work within a week or two.

Dr. Samadi has an entire website,, dedicated to detailing SMART surgery and more can be found at "Patients don't have to grasp the full medical technicality of the procedure, but the take-aways are powerful," he notes. With dedicated post-operative care, only Dr. Samadi's SMART surgery delivers urinary control in 96 percent of patients just 2-3 months after surgery and sexually potency in 85 percent of patients in 12-24 months.

Dr. David Samadi is Vice Chairman, Department of Urology and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York where he performs each robotic prostatectomy himself, from start to finish.

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