By Matt Leingang
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Tristate men with prostate cancer are the latest group of patients at Greater Cincinnati hospitals to benefit from robotically assisted surgery, which promises less pain, shorter hospital stays and faster recoveries.
Anesthesiologist Dr. Al Lopez (left), surgeon Dr. Eric Kuhn, Dr. Brian Seifman (seated) and certified surgical assistant Ronald Campbell (across table) work at the operating table Wednesday.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/GLENN HARTONG
On Wednesday, surgeons at Good Samaritan Hospital used the technology on a 56-year-old man to remove a cancerous prostate.
Sitting at a 3-D video console off to the side of an operating table, Dr. Eric Kuhn used joysticks to direct four robotic arms, inserted into the patient's abdomen, that mimic the surgeon's precise motions.
Since robotically assisted surgery came to Cincinnati last year - Good Samaritan has one; the University of Cincinnati Medical Center has two - it mostly has been used for heart procedures.
This was its local debut in prostate surgery, enabling surgeons to avoid the traditional "belly cut" from a patient's belly button down to his pubic bone.
But more importantly, doctors said, this minimally invasive technique - which causes less harm to nerve bundles around the prostate - may offer men with prostate cancer an even lower risk of impaired sexual function after surgery, better urinary control and no risk of damage to the rectum. In Hamilton County, 597 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer last year, according to the American Cancer Society.
"A lot of things in medicine come and go, but in the short time that this technology has been around, it's really proved itself," said Kuhn, a urologist at Good Samaritan who, along with Dr.Mark Delworth, spent 10 months training with the robotic system before Wednesday's surgery.
Kuhn said the five-hour surgery went well and that the patient is expected to return home today, whereas conventional surgery typically means a two- to three-day hospital stay.
TriHealth, the hospital system that includes Good Samaritan and Bethesda North, did about 100 prostatectomies last year.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The American Cancer Society estimates that 220,000 new cases were diagnosed last year in the United States and that more than 30,000 men died from the disease, making it the second-leading cause of cancer death in the country.
Annually, more then 50,000 men in the U.S. undergo a prostatectomy - the complete removal of the prostate and surrounding tissue.
Hospitals in Detroit began pioneering robotically assisted prostatectomy several years ago, said Kuhn, who has two other cases scheduled for March.
Good Samaritan could do as many as eight to 10 procedures a month with the new technology. UC expects to do its first kidney removal surgery this week and its first prostatectomy sometime this month.
He was too good to be true
Alert gambler ended the hunt
Critics: Mentally ill shouldn't have gun
Soldier's family stoically bore burdens
Road work affects 10 spots
Women's heart risk higher
State gives Mason 34 acres
IN THE TRISTATE
Batavia's levy victory called model for schools
Two indicted in child-related incidents
Lost people, lost jobs spur business study
Driver guilty of dog distractions
Empire fiasco's principal sues city
Frailey looks at costs and returns
Franklin wants community groups to save activities
Popular bar faces crowding charge
55 school districts to take part in job fair
Luken pushes tax breaks for LabOne
Residents could owe city taxes
Packages keep coming
Sewers inadequate for proposed houses
Pool hours, parks funds cut by Mount Healthy
More fixes for charitable gaming statutes
Oxford argues who can write tickets
Robotics used in prostate surgery
'Forum' and 'Birdie' among musical choices
Public safety briefs
Bronson: Whose idea was it to hire these people?
Crowley: Surprisingly, redrawn district gives Democrat the advantage
Good Things Happening
Francis Williams served the poor
First Baptist ousts its dissidents
Church in pain seeks healing
CovCath gets loud sendoff
House balks at Fletcher plan
TV ex-anchor testifies in soldier's case
Chase leaves wreck trail
Teen center opens today