NEW YORK, NY (Marketwire – February 8, 2011)
Managing the stress of prostate cancer surgery prior to the operation may help speed up both the physical and psychological recovery, according to a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. “Managing stress not only aids in easing pre-surgical prostate cancer treatment anxiety, but patients experienced higher immunity and improved mental health months after the operation,” said Dr. David B. Samadi, a robotic prostatectomy expert. The study followed men who underwent radical prostate surgery, which usually results in more complications than robotic surgery.
According to the study, just a few stress management sessions can alter biological functioning after prostate cancer surgery. Researchers at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center followed 159 men with early-stage prostate cancer and the effect of stress management techniques. All of the men were scheduled to undergo a radical prostatectomy, surgical removal of the prostate gland, which often takes a physical and mental toll.
Critics of radical prostate surgery say the surgery often leaves men impotent and incontinent for a substantial amount of time. However, robotic surgery, as performed by Dr. Samadi, who has open traditional and laparoscopic expertise, not only removes the prostate cancer but also preserves the sexual and urinary functions. “With robotics, there is increased magnification, and no blood in the operative field, which allows me to preserve the nerves responsible for sexual and urinary function,” said Samadi.
A group of the subjects received “supportive care” after their prostate surgery. This entailed psychological counseling up to two weeks before the surgery, immediately before the operation and days after the procedure. Another group received stress management counseling, which entailed deep breathing and visualization techniques to help manage the stress of prostate cancer surgery. The visualizations helped patients understand everything from the surgery to recovery. Additional stress management sessions were given the morning of the operation and two days after, in addition to visualization guides and audiotapes that they could use on their own.
The stress management patients had a measurably stronger immune response. “Of course, more studies are needed to determine if the increased immune function with stress management has a real effect on recovery after prostate cancer surgery,” said Dr. Samadi, a robotic prostate surgery expert, with over 3,200 surgeries to his credit. The study did demonstrate that the stress management patients reported better mental health in the year after their surgery.
Dr. Samadi believes a strong positive outlook is always beneficial for mental health when dealing with any disease. His website, roboticoncology.com, presents the latest in prostate cancer research and robotic surgery information, which is meant to help patients learn theiroptions. “The mind is a powerful tool in the fight against prostate cancer,” said Samadi, “Along with robotic surgery, I treat my patients’ mental as well as physical state to help give them the best odds in beating the disease.
Dr. David B. Samadi