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FAQ: Single-Port Radical Prostatectomy

Yale New Haven Hospital offers the latest treatments for prostate cancer including single-port radical prostatectomy. This robotic surgery is not readily available at most hospitals and allows patients to go home the same day due to reduced risk of complications.

Isaac Kim, MD, PhD, MBA, chief of Urology at Yale New Haven Hospital and chair of the Department of Urology at Yale School of Medicine has performed over 2,100 robotic prostatectomies in men with prostate cancer. He said thanks to the latest techniques, including single-port radical prostatectomy, patients who receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer have a high chance of an excellent outcome.

“In the world of cancer, prostate cancer is very, very curable. In large part that is because of advances in science and technology,” Dr. Kim said.

He answered some common questions about single-port robotic prostatectomies.

Learn more below:

What is a prostatectomy?

A radical prostatectomy is a surgery resulting in the total removal of the prostate to treat prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men after skin cancer and nearly 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.

What is the difference between a single-port v. multi-port radical prostatectomy? 

The more traditional multi-port radical prostatectomy uses a route through the peritoneal space, where the bowel sits. Patients who undergo this procedure typically spend one night in the hospital.

A single-port radical prostatectomy allows the surgeon to access the area in front of the peritoneal space. By doing this, the potential morbidity is a lot lower and patients can go home the same day of the surgery.

What can patients expect from a single-port radical prostatectomy?

The day of the procedure, the patient will arrive and wait in the pre-operative area. They will undergo general anesthesia combined with local anesthetics. After waking up, the patient is monitored for about three hours before they can go home. A catheter will drain urine for about a week.

A week after the procedure, the patient will return to have the catheter removed. The next follow up visit takes place three months later. Additional follow-up visits will decrease gradually in the years to follow.

What are the risks associated with single-port radical prostatectomy?

There are no additional risks compared to a traditional robotic surgery, which has become the acceptable standard for prostate cancer surgery. More than 90% of these surgeries are robotic.

Do patients need radiation in addition to surgery for treatment of prostate cancer?

Patients with prostate cancer have two choices for treatment: radiation or surgery. Once a patient decides to undergo surgery, it is typically the only treatment necessary.

What is the rate of relapse after surgery?

This depends on the patient’s prognosis. Prostate cancer is categorized as low risk, intermediate risk and high risk. For low risk patients, the recurrence rate is less than 5%.

How can I prepare for a single-port radical prostatectomy?

Seek out the right surgeon with the appropriate expertise and experience for the best outcome. Just because a patient undergoes robotic surgery does not mean it is automatically better than a traditional surgery. Robotics is simply a technology and whoever is on the other end controlling the robot is going to dictate the outcome.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 203-785-2815.