Urology deals with diseases of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs. Urologists at Northern Nevada Health System provide numerous urology services to help patients experiencing various conditions. These include prostate cancer, enlarged prostate, bladder stones, erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and kidney cancer.
One of the most common is prostate cancer. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland found in the male reproductive system. It is located in front of the rectum just below the bladder. Prostate cancer occurs when a malignant tumor is formed in the prostate gland. If prostate cancer is not treated, the cancer can grow and spread beyond the prostate into the surrounding tissues and lymph nodes. It can also spread to distant parts of the body such as the bones, lungs and liver.
Surgeons at Northern Nevada Medical Center perform a wide range of urological procedures using the daVinci® Surgical System. The da Vinci Surgical System uses advanced robotic technology. This provides natural depth of field and enables a surgeon’s hand movements to be scaled, filtered and translated into precise micro-movements of tiny instruments at the operative site.
A common way to treat prostate cancer is the surgical removal of the prostate and surrounding cancerous tissues. A radical prostatectomy can be a complex and delicate procedure due to many factors. The main factor is the location of the prostate gland deep inside the pelvis.
In this procedure, surgeons remove the entire prostate gland, both seminal vesicles, both ampullae, and additional surrounding tissues. The section of urethra that runs through the prostate is cut away. Some of the sphincter muscle that controls the flow of urine may also be removed.
An open prostatectomy requires an eight- to 10-inch incision on the patient’s abdomen. In contrast, conventional laparoscopic and robot-assisted laparoscopic approaches require several dime-sized incisions. These operating “ports,” are used to introduce narrow-shafted instruments. Surgeons and assistants maneuver the instruments from outside the body, under vision provided by a surgical camera.
There are several potential advantages of laparoscopic and robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy over conventional open surgery. These include:
- Faster return to normal activities
- Reduced blood loss and less need for blood transfusions
- Smaller incisions for less pain after surgery and improved cosmetics
For most patients, da Vinci prostatectomy (dVP) offers substantially less pain and a much shorter recovery than traditional prostate surgery. Other advantages may include reduced need for blood transfusions, less scarring and less risk of infection. In addition, recent studies suggest that dVP may offer improved cancer control and a lower incidence of impotence and urinary incontinence.
Nephrectomy (Kidney Disease)
For many patients, a kidney-sparing approach called robotic partial nephrectomy is an option. This complex procedure uses the da Vinci Surgical System to remove only the cancerous portion of the kidney. It preserves as much of the unaffected kidney as possible. Surgeon’s use the system’s 3-D magnification to precisely identify cancerous kidney tumors. They can then remove the affected tissue through small incisions in the patient’s abdomen.
After surgeons have removed the tumor, they must reconstruct the remaining portion of the kidney. One of the benefits of partial nephrectomy is that a patient will still have a “reserve” kidney in addition to their unaffected kidney. This can be important for patients such as diabetics who are at risk for kidney failure.
Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if robotic surgery is right for you.
There are many surgeons who are certified in robotic-assisted surgery and have extensive expertise in performing urological procedures.
Urology care is provided at Northern Nevada Medical Center and some surgeries are performed at Quail Surgical and Pain Management.
Northern Nevada Medical Center
If you need a referral to a physician at Northern Nevada Health System, call our free physician referral service at 775-356-6662.