Cutting Edge

12/04/2005

Medical progress is measured in many ways. As robotic surgery comes of age, Katrina's victims struggle to find the most basic care. A look ahead.

robotic prostatectomy

Photo illustration by Newsweek; photograph by Adam Friedberg for Newsweek

By Jennifer Barrett
Newsweek
Updated: 2:57 p.m. ET Dec. 4, 2005


Dec. 12, 2005 issue - Stuart Forbes celebrated his 60th birthday on April 11. A week later, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. "It was quite a month," says Forbes, a blunt Vietnam veteran who runs a consulting firm outside Boston. When biopsies confirmed he had an aggressive form of the disease, Forbes started looking for a surgeon. The first recommended a traditional radical prostatectomy, which would require an eight- to 10-inch incision and at least two days in the hospital. Forbes was also warned that he would likely lose almost all the nerves on the left side of the prostate, which could permanently affect his sexual function. "I thought, 'I need to really look at all my options'," says Forbes. He considered high-intensity focused ultrasound ablation, a relatively new technology that's been used in Europe. But it's expensive and would require transatlantic trips. He looked into various forms of radiation, as well as proton-beam therapy. Then, in June, his girlfriend took him to a symposium on robotic surgery. "I saw the machine and how it worked," remembers Forbes. "It was just incredible. I said, 'That's it'."

Five years ago, says Dr. David B. Samadi, director of robotic laparoscopic urology surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia Medical Center, 80 to 90 percent of the prostatectomies he did were open, with less than 10 percent done robotically. Now the figures have reversed. "There is much less blood loss and an extremely low rate of complications," he says.

The next frontier for robotic surgery may be gynecological laparoscopic procedures, for which the system was just approved this spring. There are about five times as many hysterectomies as prostatectomies performed each year, and surgeons say the complex procedure could benefit from the robotic system's precision. Cardiac surgeons have also begun using the da Vinci for a range of procedures, from mitral-valve repair to coronary-bypass surgery.

robotic prostatectomy

Photo illustration by Newsweek; photograph by Adam Friedberg for Newsweek (stereo viewer); courtesy of Intuitive Surgical Inc. (3-D image)

Back to News


Bookmark Using:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Yahoo

Share on Facebook

Call to Make an Appointment With Dr. David Samadi:

1-212-365-5000

Click the contact link to learn how Dr. Samadi can help treat your prostate cancer and give you back your quality of life.

* The benefits of robotic surgery cannot be guaranteed as surgery is both patient and procedure specific. Previous surgical results do not guarantee future outcomes.




Testimonials
G. C., USA

"Dr. Samadi has been there to answer any questions or concerns and everything that he told me about the procedure was true. I highly recommend him".

more..
Holy and Rick, USA

My Husband Rick was diagnosed with prostate cancer right before Christmas 2010. He was diagnosed at the same age that his father was but his father lost his battle with cancer at age 56. I was not ready to be a widow nor my children fatherless so I needed to find the best doctor on the face of this earth.

more..
R. P., New York, USA

From the time I arrived at Mount Sinai for my operation until the time I left for home, about 26 hours later, I was treated efficiently, professionally, and compassionately by all I came in contact with...

more..
Israel and Miriam - Israel

לכבוד דר' דוד סמאדי, אנו מודים לרבונו של עולם שנתן לנו את ההזדמנות להכיר אותך ואת עבודת הקודש שאתה מתעסק בה, וכמובן הזכות שהיית הרופא שלנו. אנו מודים לבננו דר' יצחק הבר שגלה לנו את מומחיותך ועמד על כך שנהיה המטופלים שלך.

more..