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[February 22,2008]

SUNY Downstate Medical Center Offers Robotic Surgery to Treat Prostate Cancer: Less Pain, Quicker Recovery

BROOKLYN – SUNY Downstate Medical Center offers Brooklynites and New Yorkers the most advanced care for prostate cancer patients using the da Vinci Surgical System.
The da Vinci Surgical System provides surgeons with an alternative to both traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy, putting a surgeon’s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic platform.

The magnified, three-dimensional view enables surgeons to perform even the most complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions with unmatched precision.

As a result, patients experience significantly less pain, less blood loss, less scarring and a shorter recovery time. They leave the hospital sooner and return to normal activities much faster than those undergoing traditional surgery.

Physicians at Downstate have performed scores of successful procedures since the Robotic System was purchased about a year ago.

"The da Vinci robotic prostatectomy is an incredible asset in treating prostate cancer,” said Dr. Ivan Colon, assistant professor of urology and director of robotics surgery at Downstate. “Even after a year, I remain thoroughly amazed with how quickly patients recover from surgery with little discomfort.”

Because the robot gives surgeons greater control as they operate, there is generally more nerve sparing than with radical prostatectomy surgery. This reduces the potential for post-surgical problems such as erectile dysfunction or urinary incontinence. Some men fear these consequences so much that they ignore symptoms and put off seeking medical help.

“Screening for early detection of prostate cancer is key,” says Dr. Richard J. Macchia, chairman of urology at SUNY Downstate. “But if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer that requires surgery, we recommend you discuss the benefits of robotic surgery with your physician.”

Access to advanced care for prostate cancer is key to Brooklynites. According to data released by the American Cancer Society (Wednesday, February 20), prostate cancer is the leading cause of death for men, with an estimated 28,660 deaths expected in 2008. African American men and Jamaican men of African descent have the highest prostate cancer incident rate in the world, with a death rate twice that of white men.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on at SUNY Downstate and University Hospital of Brooklyn is giving all of our patients access to the most advanced medical treatment,” says Dr. Macchia.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center is the only academic medical center in Brooklyn, Staten Island, or Queens, comprising a College of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a public health degree program, and the 376-bed University Hospital of Brooklyn that offers advanced care in all specialties. A major research center, Downstate also is home to an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.
Click here to listen to Downstate’s ad about robotic surgery, or call (718) 270-1957 to make an appointment to talk with a Downstate physician about robotic surgery for prostate cancer.