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Robotic & Traditional Surgery for Prostate Cancer

Not every man with prostate cancer needs surgery. But if you are considering a prostatectomy - an operation to remove the prostate - a minimally invasive option called da Vinci® surgery is available at Memorial Hermann.

Prostate surgery is an effective way to treat cancer that is confined to the prostate.

Types of Surgeries

Sometimes a surgeon will do a pelvic lymphadenectomy, or removal of the lymph nodes, to confirm cancer is present before removing the prostate.

Once cancer is confirmed, a radical prostatectomy may be done. The surgery removes the prostate, surrounding tissue and area lymph nodes. The lymph nodes are examined for cancer.

This single method treatment currently provides three surgical approaches for patients. The stage of the cancer, along with a patient's individual medical history, determines the most effective approach for each individual.

The approaches are:


An incision (cut) is made in the abdominal wall and the prostate is removed. Area lymph nodes may also be removed at this time.


An incision (cut) is made in the perineum (area between the scrotum and anus) and the prostate is removed. Area lymph nodes may also be removed at the same time.

Robotic Prostatectomy

If your urologist recommends surgery to treat your prostate cancer, you may be a candidate for a new, less invasive approach to surgery called da Vinci® Prostatectomy. This approach to prostatectomy provides access to the internal anatomy through five small incisions. The surgeon is empowered to perform a very precise, nerve-sparing operation with the da Vinci® Surgical System. For the patient, da Vinci® Prostatectomy may result in more complete eradication of cancer, retention of bladder control and potency.

Benefits of Robotic Prostate Removal

This method incorporates the latest advancements in robotic-assisted technology and allows a surgeon greater visualization, enhanced dexterity, precision, control and superior ergonomics. For qualified candidates, the da Vinci® Prostatectomy offers numerous potential benefits over the traditional open prostatectomy, including:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and transfusions
  • Less scarring
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities

As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific.