Robotic Prostatectomy

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City of Hope is a leader in the use of robotic-assisted prostatectomy to treat prostate cancer; our experienced team have performed thousands of robotic prostatectomies since the program's start in 2003.

This procedure uses a surgical robot and smaller incisions to remove the prostate and surrounding tissue.

Compared to an open surgical approach, robotic prostatectomies offer several benefits:

  • Less pain and discomfort
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Faster return to normal activities or follow-up treatments

What is a robotic prostatectomy?

A diagram of the male urinary system includes a representation of the prostate gland. Removal of a cancerous gland is best done by those with much epxertise, as at City of Hope.
The most common prostate cancer surgery is a radical prostatectomy, an operation that removes the prostate gland, seminal vesicles and surrounding tissues. When possible, nearby nerves and blood vessels will be spared to preserve urinary and sexual function. Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed and examined to determine if the cancer has spread.
Using state-of-the-art da Vinci computer-enhanced minimally invasive surgery system (including the Da Vinci Xi), City of Hope surgeons perform the same procedure done in conventional laparoscopic prostatectomy, but are aided by a three-dimensional computer vision system to manipulate four robotic arms.


A pencil-size video camera held by one of the arms is inserted through an incision to provide magnified, 3D images of the surgical site. The 3D view helps the surgeon more easily identify the delicate nerves and muscles surrounding the prostate. The robotic arms can rotate a full 360 degrees, allowing the surgeon to manipulate surgical instruments with greater precision, flexibility and range of motion.

As a result, patients experience significantly less pain and less blood loss than those undergoing conventional open incision procedures. In addition, patients tend to enjoy quicker recovery time. A traditional, open radical prostatectomy requires two days hospitalization and recovery lasting about two to three months.

With robotic assisted surgery the recovery time is as little as two weeks - a greater than 50 percent reduction in recovery time.

For patients who are disease free one year after treatment, City of Hope also offers a prostate cancer survivorship clinic with information and services specifically tailored for prostate cancer survivors, including follow-up assessments, health screenings, education and support to promote health living after cancer.

As the data on prostate cancer shows:  “Our survivorship exceeds the survival rate of patients treated at other cancer programs that report their data to the Commission on Cancer [a national database maintained jointly by the American Cancer Society and the American College of Surgeons].”  

Your Guide to Robotic-assisted Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy

Our video series eliminates much of the confusion men and their partners may have about the operation, expected side effects, potential complications and long-term outcomes.

The videos can be found at the links below and also our YouTube channel.

The series includes much more than an explanation of the surgery. It goes on to explain the potential for clinical trials, noting that patients could take part in the Prostate Cancer Database, one of the largest of its kind in the world and "a simple way to help cancer research." Men could also enroll in clinical trials for new drug therapies or new surgical approaches that are proven safe but not yet available for general use.

Latter videos include advice on recovery and where to go for other information.

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