Monthly Archives: September 2011

Contradictory Findings and Using Caution When Researching Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

I like when the medical community shares the positive findings of new studies on robotic radical prostatectomy procedures. I like knowing that prostate cancer patients, mine and those just beginning to explore treatment options, can read about the many current successes of robotic prostate surgery. I like when the medical community is united in helping prostate cancer patients gain access to the best treatments available. But what I find most difficult for those exploring prostate cancer treatment options is the widely varying reports often published. Facing a prostate cancer diagnosis is extremely difficult and research is a must. I urge all prostate cancer patients to spend time with their physicians discussing all options, and to gather as much information from as many sources as possible. But what you read and learn must be as carefully considered as the treatment decision itself. The volume of data can be overwhelming and making sense of wildly differing results can be daunting. For example, prostate cancer surgeons at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York recently studied the outcomes of 110,016 prostatectomy patients, finding significant surgical benefits in those who underwent laparoscopic or robotic [...]

Robotic Prostatectomy Surgery and Robotic Radiosurgery – What’s the Difference?

There’s a lot of buzz about robotics in all areas of medicine. Couple that with new advances and the ever changing world of branded medical tools and procedures and there’s bound to be confusion about what’s what. As we continue to read more about Prostate Cancer Awareness month, I want to offer some clarity on two similarly named, though vastly different, prostate cancer treatment options – robotic prostatectomy surgery and robotic radiosurgery. First, robotic radical prostatectomy involves the use of surgeon-guided micro-surgical instruments and high-resolution cameras to aid in the non-invasive removal of the cancerous prostate. I believe this technique gives me, and my patients, the best of both worlds. I can draw on my vast traditional and laparoscopic surgical experience and marry it with the technological advantages of the robot – enhanced vision, precise dexterity and full mobility – to remove the prostate with as little trauma to the patient as possible. In doing so, my patients achieve a 97% cure rate. What’s more, I have the benefit of getting in there and really seeing what’s going on with the cancer. Unfortunately, pre-surgery cancer staging tests don’t really tell [...]

Calling All Women: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

My favorite month is here so you know what that means: prostate cancer talk all month long. It’s a time to listen up and study up on all there is to know about preventing, detecting and treating prostate cancer. This month, my message goes out to women. I say this because you know as well as I do that women have the power to make us act. They read all the latest news and blogs, they talk to their friends and their doctors, and they prod us along.  My message is simple: women, do whatever it takes to get your husband, boyfriend, father and/or brother to the doctor this month. And while you’re at it, here’s a “honey-do” list ready for you to hand over. This list highlights the prostate cancer basics we all should know: Learn your prostate cancer risk, Improve your lifestyle, Screen annually and Treat aggressively, if necessary. LEARN Your Risk: Genetics – men with a father or brother with prostate cancer are 2x as likely to develop the disease; having 3 or more relatives with prostate cancer makes a diagnosis almost certain Race – African American [...]

Kegels and Post-Prostatectomy Care

The National Institute of Health Research recently weighed the benefits of using Kegels, pelvic floor toning exercises, in one-on-one physical therapy sessions. Their findings indicate that there is no substantial benefit to the individualized training, nor is it cost-effective. It’s interesting to me that the study seems to be less about the effectiveness of pelvic floor toning exercises, and more about the time (and therefore expense) of one-on-one care after prostate cancer surgery. First, I’d like to remind patients that the level of sexual and urinary function issues they may face post-radical prostatectomy are directly linked to the skill level of the surgeon they select. While da Vinci System technology does provide tremendous benefits in visual magnification and dissection precision during surgery, it’s no replacement for time and experience. My SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) method links technology and skill, truly resulting in smart surgery. My patients are experiencing exceptional results with regard to sexual and urinary function. Ninety-six percent regain urinary continence and 87 percent regain sexual function in 12-24 months following surgery. Second, there are instances when men need some additional support following surgery, whether to deal [...]