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Minimally invasive surgery for urological conditions



Baptist Health Louisville surgeons can correct an array of urological disorders using minimally invasive techniques for procedures including prostatectomy, nephrectomy and adrenalectomy.

Prostatectomy

New, minimally invasive technology for patients who need prostate surgery offers distinct advantages that improve patient comfort and shorten recovery time, and offer the potential for better outcomes. Baptist Health Louisville surgeons perform prostatectomies using either standard minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery or robotic surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System, depending on a patient’s needs.

Benefits to minimally invasive prostate surgery include:

  • Reduced scarring
  • Less post-operative pain
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Faster recovery time
  • Shorter hospital stay


Laparoscopic prostate surgery

During laparoscopic treatment, sometimes called “keyhole surgery,” a surgeon makes small incisions, and inserts tiny surgical instruments and miniature, fiber-optic flashlights through tubes, also called “ports” or “keyholes,” into the operative site. The surgeon and other team members can view the surgical site on high-definition monitors that provide a magnified, enhanced view.

Robotic da Vinci surgery for prostatectomy

Robotic surgery to remove the prostate gives the surgeon greater precision, control and visualization, which helps preserve the delicate nerves and muscles around the prostate, resulting in a nerve-sparing operation that increases the chances for retaining bladder control and sexual function.

During a prostatectomy using the da Vinci Surgical System, the surgeon makes six dime-sized or smaller incisions in the abdomen and inserts miniature, specially designed instruments through ports into the surgical site. Seated at an ergonomically-designed console a few feet from the operating table, the surgeon then manipulates the instruments remotely to remove the prostate gland, nearby lymph nodes, seminal vesicles and surrounding tissue.

A magnified, three-dimensional view of the surgical area provides greater visual detail than with conventional laparoscopic or traditional, open surgery, and the robotic control system directly translates into precise movements and filters out any hand tremor. This is especially important during prostate surgery due to the delicate tissue, arteries and nerves surrounding the prostate.

Other members of the surgical team stand by the operating table to assist, closely monitoring the patient and the robot-controlled instruments. The system cannot be programmed or make decisions on its own – every movement requires direct input from the surgeon.

Benefits of robotic prostate surgery:

  • few complications
  • less post-operative pain and discomfort
  • short hospital stay (usually 24 hours) and fast recovery time
  • low risk of blood loss and need for transfusions
  • less risk of post-operative complications such as infection
  • less overall trauma to body
  • less damage to normal tissue
  • can return to normal activities within days instead of weeks
  • nerve-sparing operation
  • more effective at cancer eradication
  • better retention of bladder and sexual function


Nephrectomy

Patients with kidney cancer, benign kidney disease or damaged kidneys, have several treatment options at Baptist Health Louisville, and physicians will help determine which approach will be the most effective in each particular case.

For many patients, Baptist Health Louisville surgeons perform the partial nephrectomy procedure, also called “kidney-sparing surgery” using an advanced minimally invasive robotic procedure. The da Vinci Surgical System allows surgeons to remove kidney tumors or diseased tissue while preserving the remaining kidney, enhancing the patients’ quality of life following surgery.

The total nephrectomy procedure, also called “radical,” involves removal of the entire kidney and is done laparoscopically at Baptist Health Louisville. Surgeons may choose this option because of cancer, disease or other injury, or when removing a healthy kidney for transplant.

Both procedures offer similar outcomes to traditional, open surgery, but provide the following advantages:

  • less post-operative pain
  • reduced tissue trauma and blood loss
  • shorter hospital stays
  • faster return to normal activities
  • increased chance of preserving kidney function
  • similar long-term outcomes as traditional surgery


Partial nephrectomy

A partial nephrectomy can be an effective protection against cancer recurrence and a safe solution for benign disease that also improves the odds of healthy long-term kidney function. Baptist Health Louisville specialists use the robotic technology of the da Vinci Surgical System to remove diseased or cancerous tissue while preserving as much kidney function as possible.

In a robotic partial nephrectomy, the surgeon precisely identifies and removes portions of diseased or cancerous kidney tumors as well as surrounding healthy tissue through small (1- to 2-centimeter) abdominal incisions. A small video camera and miniature, specially designed instruments are inserted into the surgical site through these incisions.

Seated at an ergonomically-designed console a few feet from the operating table, the surgeon has a magnified, three-dimensional view of the surgical site and remotely manipulates the robotic instruments to perform the surgery. The control system directly translates into precise movements and filters out any hand tremor.

Robotic kidney surgery offers outcomes similar to traditional open and standard laparoscopic surgery with reduced tissue trauma and risk of infection, less visible scarring and the potential for quicker recovery. The robotic precision and rapid suturing can help preserve kidney function because the kidneys are not diverted from the blood supply as long.

Total nephrectomy

Baptist Health Louisville specialists use minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery when kidneys need to be removed completely. This technique is effective for diseased and non-functioning kidneys due to benign or cancerous conditions, and is also used with healthy patients who are donating a kidney to a relative or friend.

Laparoscopic surgery for a nephrectomy reduces the amount of discomfort with the procedure, generally requires only a one-night hospital stay, and results in an earlier return to normal activities.

In minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, surgeons slip small surgical instruments and miniature video cameras through tubes inserted into the body through tiny incisions. The surgeon and other team members can view a magnified image of the surgical site on a video monitor while manipulating the small surgical tools to complete the surgery.

Advantages to laparoscopic surgery for adrenal gland conditions include:

  • less post-operative pain
  • reduced tissue trauma and blood loss
  • shorter hospital stays
  • faster return to normal activities
  • increased chance of preserving kidney function
  • similar long-term outcomes as traditional surgery


Adrenalectomy

Baptist Health Louisville surgeons can perform adrenal gland surgery using a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure, which results in a rapid recovery and fast return to normal activities. Laparoscopic surgery can be done for a variety of adrenal gland disorders including Cushing’s, a disease that stimulates excess steroid production, and Conn’s, a correctable disease causing high blood pressure. Laparoscopic surgery usually requires a two-day hospital stay as opposed to five days for traditional, open surgery.

Laparoscopic treatments allow surgeons to perform operations with minimally invasive techniques that result in shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times and a quicker return to normal life. During a laparoscopic procedure, surgeons make small incisions, and insert specially designed video cameras and tiny surgical instruments through “ports” or tubes. The surgeon and other surgical team members can view the procedure on video monitors that provide a magnified, enhanced view of the surgical site.

For more information, or for a physician referral, call the Baptist Health Information Center at
(502) 897-8131.