Robotic surgeries are less invasive and less painful than traditional procedures. Patients also recover faster, according to Dr. Jamison Jaffe, Chair of Urology at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne. He says surgeons are able to operate through smaller incisions, because the robotic instruments used inside the body are much smaller than a human’s hand. But if you think the robot is doing all the work, think again. He says doctors are still in charge, moving the joysticks to control the robot. Dr. Jaffe says with robotics, he can perform procedures solo, with minimal help from an assistant needed.
Many of the robotic operations he performs are for patients with prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in men in the U.S. He says he can also use the robot for bladder, kidney, and ureteral cancers along with other benign urologic conditions. He admits that for some patients the traditional, non-robotic procedure may be necessary. Patients who have had several previous surgical procedures may not be able to benefit from the less invasive approach.
He urges patients to do some research before choosing a surgeon for any procedure. With robotic surgery, he says practice with the equipment, really does make a difference. So, ask the doctor how long they have been doing the robotic surgeries and how many procedures they have performed.
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