NEW YORK, Dec. 23, 2010
Dr. David Samadi, robotic prostatectomy expert, as well as the Vice Chairman, Department of Urology, and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, continues to break barriers by sharing his robotic surgery and prostate cancer treatment skills with doctors worldwide. Today, Samadi, a pioneer surgeon in the field of robotics, performed his signature SMART Surgery Technique at Rambam Medical Center in Israel, as part of his groundbreaking weeklong educational trip. SMART, which stands for “Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique,” “takes oncologic principles, combines it with open radical prostatectomy skills and builds upon it with a unique robotic surgery approach,” explains Samadi, about the prostate cancer treatment procedure he uses at Mount Sinai.
As seen today on Fox News and recently in the Israeli daily newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth (Latest News), Dr. Samadi performed the live robotic prostate surgery for urologists at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, northern Israel. It was the first robotic surgery performed in Israel. The surgery, which boasts a survival rate of 95%, was a complete success, with the patient relaxing comfortably in recovery. Said Samadi, “The surgery was successful – the family is excited about this and so is the hospital.”
Rambam Medical Center, which is already a pioneer in trauma, liver and kidney procedures, is sure to be revolutionized by the robot and the surgery, said Dr. Samadi. As Fox News stated, “The future was brought to Israel today.”
Dr. Samadi is also scheduled to perform another live surgery at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, in Tel Aviv, on Christmas Day. It will be televised live on Fox News at 10:45 am EST on Saturday, December 25th.
Dr. Samadi, who has performed over 3,000 successful prostatectomies in his practice, one of only ten doctors in the world to achieve this volume, strongly believes that experience is the key to success. “The problem with robotic surgery is that many surgeons are not experienced enough,” said Dr. Samadi in Yedioth Ahronoth. “Israel’s technology when it comes to urology is definitely top quality, however, there are only a couple of robots in the country, and the doctors using it are only in the initial stages of the learning curve.” Samadi feels that 500 surgeries is an adequate volume to declare proficiency. “After all, the surgeon, and not the technology, nor the robot, performs the surgery,” he said.
Understandably, Dr. Samadi is a big fan of robotic prostate surgery and refutes any claims that the procedure can cause impotence or incontinence. “In my practice, 97% of my patients regain urinary control, and 85% regain sexual function. The robot helps me perform better in surgery with superior visual accuracy and bloodless field. With open surgery, you work blindly in a blood-filled pool and end up experiencing complications. With robotic surgery, it is more precise than open surgery, and nobody returns with complications,” he said.
Additionally, robotic surgery takes only an hour and a half, with an average blood loss of about 50-100 CC. The hospital stay is usually only one night and recovery is much faster, with less pain. But the biggest advantage, says Samadi? “The prostate is removed and the cancer is gone and I know exactly how much cancer there was, what kind, what stage, what risk, unlike with other treatment options,” he said. “If, God forbid, the cancer returned, the patient can then successfully receive radiation therapy.”
“At six weeks post-op, the patient’s PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level should go down to zero and should remain zero for the rest of their life,” Samadi continued. “Quality of life after prostate cancer surgery is restored because you can heal, leave it behind you and move forward.”
Looking ahead, Dr. Samadi dreams of a day where he can operate the da Vinci robot from a remote location, such as from another hospital, even from another city. He said, “I believe in evolution so don’t be surprised if you see this happen within the next two years, and I hope to be right there, leading the charge.”
For now, Dr. Samadi is excited to be working in Israel, sharing his surgical skills. “Even though I live in the United States, I will definitely always call Israel my home,” he said.
CONTACT: Dr. David B. Samadi
Vice Chairman, Department of Urology
Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery
The Mount Sinai Medical Center