Contact Us Details

7 Chester Street

p: +61 3 9563 7899
f: (03) 9563 8101

Robotic Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparascopic keyhole and robotic surgery can offer a quicker recovery than open surgery.

The evidence is lagging behind the hype of robotic surgery, with many patients assuming that new technology will give them a better outcome. Whilst the robot can offer fewer side effects than open surgery from the actual treatment, there is just no evidence that proves the robot is any better at removing cancers and reducing the significant side effects of prostate surgery – impotence and incontinence.

Except for the incision, robotic surgery is still major surgery.

It all comes back to the skill of the surgeon. Laparascopic surgery requires very high surgical skills, as there are some parts of this surgery that are very difficult. Our team are accomplished fellowship trained laparascopic surgeons.

The robot does not think for itself, so still requires the surgeon to operate it. The robotic arms reproduce exactly the movements of the arms and wrist of the surgeon operating it. In addition, the machine has no sense of touch, so when a surgeon pushes on a tissue, it does not “push back”as it would if they were holding the instruments. Only with experience can the surgeon compensate for the loss of this important sensory cue by watching the tissue’s response to movement.

Robotic surgery is often marketed as offering “extensive nerve sparing” procedures. The disadvantage to this extended nerve sparing is the change of leaving some cancer behind. For this reason, it should only be offered to patients with early or low risk forms of the disease.

The hype may be persuading more men to opt for this technologically impressive technique. As robotic surgery is still a new technology, many surgeons are still inevitably on the learning curve.

How much does the robot cost?

Patients have been willing to pay up to $14,000 to have robotic surgery if they do not have private health insurance, and $4000 in out of pocket expenses, even if they have private health insurance.

Questions to ask your surgeon:

  • How many of your patients recover potency?

  • What propostion of cancers do you excise with margins clear of cancer?

  • How much will my procedure cost?

When we discuss treatment options, we have one person in mind….

Patient Info Links

Patient Info
Prostate Cancer - Treatment
Laparoscopic (Keyhole) Surgery
> Robotic Laparoscopic Surgery