Men facing prostate cancer experience a wide range of emotions and fears about treatment, survival and cure. Robotic prostatectomy procedures, performed to remove the prostate gland and all surrounding cancer, provides very good results but can add to the fears that men have. Primarily, men want to know if they will be able to have and enjoy sex after prostate cancer treatment.
Prior to the advent of laparoscopic and robotic techniques to remove the prostate gland, open, abdominal surgery was the standard. During these procedures, it was very difficult for the surgeon to see the tiny nerves responsible for erectile functioning and they were often severed unintentionally. As a result, men typically experienced changes in their ability to have sex after prostate removal. Today, robotic radical prostatectomy provides the surgeon with a magnified view of the prostate gland, along with increased precision and dexterity, greatly reducing the risk of damage to nerves vital to erectile functioning.
Dr. Samadi maintains that prostate surgery recovery means a return to the patient’s normal quality of life. “I consider robotic surgery successful when the cancer is cured and the patient has full continence and potency. All three criteria must be met for me to consider the surgery a success.” Dr. Samadi employs a start-to-finish approach, including individualized evaluation of sexual function prior to radical prostatectomy and assessment of options to aid in the return of sexual function after prostate surgery.
Robotic radical prostatectomy using the da Vinci Surgical System is the commonly recommended treatment for men with localized prostate cancer. The da Vinci system’s greatly magnified visualization and sensitive electronics permit Dr. Samadi to perform highly precise movements at the surgical site. This allows for cleaner removal of the cancerous tissue and results in overall superior clinical outcomes when compared to open and laparoscopic prostatectomy procedures. Using his own SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique), Dr. Samadi is able to spare the nerves critical for sexual function. Prostate surgery recovery is then faster, with an improved outlook for regaining the ability to have sex after prostate removal. SMART surgery also mitigates the risks associated with incontinence after prostate surgery.
The resumption of sexual potency can take up to 12 months, or longer depending on the complexity of the prostatectomy surgery. It’s not uncommon for men to experience ED after prostate surgery, particularly during the weeks immediately following the procedure. However, this is not an indication of the long-term sexual potency of a patient. On-going post-operative communication is part of Dr. Samadi’s comprehensive approach to ED after prostate cancer treatment.
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