Prostate Cancer & Treatment
We understand the difficulties that come with being diagnosed with prostate cancer, but if your doctor recommends prostate surgery, the good news is the cancer was probably caught early. According to The National Prostate Cancer Coalition, nearly one in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. With greater awareness, prostate cancer detection is on the rise and advanced medical treatments are allowing more men to return to active and productive lives sooner.
The prostate is a male reproductive gland that produces a fluid found in semen. Located below the bladder, the prostate surrounds the urethra - the tube that empties urine from the bladder. Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland and may spread to surrounding structures. While most men with prostate cancer have no symptoms, physicians can detect the disease during a regular checkup, using a combination of a blood test and a digital rectal exam.
Prostate surgery (also called radical prostatectomy) is a highly effective single treatment method for localized prostate cancer. This procedure is used when radiation, chemotherapy or other post-surgical treatment is not considered necessary, although some follow-up appointments may be required based on the results of each patient's surgery.
Our surgeons have expertise in all traditional approaches to prostate surgery - open surgery through large incisions, conventional minimally invasive, and laparoscopic - and today, in robot-assisted laparoscopic prostate cancer surgery, including robotic prostatectomy.
Robotic prostatectomy is the precise removal of the prostate gland and surrounding lymph nodes using the da Vinci Si Surgical System, a robotic, minimally invasive surgical device. The da Vinci system enables surgeons to operate with unmatched precision and control using only a few small incisions, allowing for less tissue trauma, reduced post-surgical pain, less blood loss and reduced scarring when compared to traditional surgery.
Robotic prostatectomy also helps spare the nerves that run alongside the prostate that are often damage during traditional prostatectomy procedures, preserving the patient's urinary and erectile function. This procedure is the gold standard treatment option for men under 70 with early-stage, organ-confined cancer.
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Kidney Cancer & Treatment
We understand the difficulties that come with being diagnosed with kidney cancer, and our compassionate, highly skilled staff will offer support as you prepare for surgery, the primary treatment for kidney cancer.
The robot-assisted surgery we offer for kidney cancer is partial nephrectomy. In most cases, the da Vinci Si represents the safest, most effective approach to laparoscopic kidney-sparing surgery with its real-time ultrasound guidance and auxiliary video input display. The da Vinci Si also makes suturing for renel reconstruction much easier and more precise.
Partial nephrectomy is the removal of part of the kidney when patients with kidney cancer are detected early and can benefit from this kidney-sparing surgery that preserves some level of kidney function. Partial nephrectomy is the preferred treatment option for small, single tumors located in only one kidney.
The da Vinci Surgical System enables Saint Joseph Hospital surgeons to operate with unmatched precision and control using only a few small incisions, allowing for less tissue trauma, post-surgical pain, blood loss and scarring than traditional surgery.
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Uterine Conditions & Treatment
When a woman faces a medical condition that affects her uterus, the hollow, muscular organ that nurtures and carries new life, the emotional impact can often be as challenging as the physical issues. These conditions include, but are not limited to, cervical and uterine cancers such as endometrial cancer, uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse, excessive bleeding and endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus, causing scarring, pain, and heavy bleeding. It can often damage the fallopian tubes and ovaries in the process. For endometrial cancer, also known as uterine cancer and more common among women after menopause, standard treatment options can include hormone therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hysterectomy.
Treatment options are as varied as the conditions themselves, but hysterectomy - the second most common surgery among women in the United States - is often considered. A woman's age, her health, surgical history and diagnosis (benign or cancerous), all factor into the recommended course of action.
A hysterectomy is a surgery to remove a woman's uterus. Traditionally it is done through an incision in the abdomen or removal through the vagina. A robotic hysterectomy performed with the da Vinci Si Surgical System, however, is one of the most effective, least invasive treatment options for a wide range of uterine conditions. It combines the advantages of conventional open and minimally invasive hysterectomies, but with far fewer drawbacks.
The da Vinci Si enables our surgeons to perform with unmatched precision and control, using only a few small incisions, offering numerous potential benefits such as significantly less pain, less scarring and fewer complications over traditional approaches to vaginal, laparoscopic or open abdominal hysterectomy.
The da Vinci Si provides our surgeons with a superior surgical tool for dissection and removal of lymph nodes during cancer operations, as compared to traditional open or minimally invasive approaches. The da Vinci Si Surgical System also allows our surgeons better visualization of anatomy, which is especially critical when working around delicate and confined structures like the bladder.
Types of Hysterectomy Surgeries
There are various types of hysterectomy surgeries that are performed depending on a patient's diagnosis:
- Supracervical hysterectomy - removes the uterus, leaves the cervix intact
- Total hysterectomy - removes the uterus and cervix
- Radical hysterectomy or modified radical hysterectomy - a more extensive surgery for gynecologic cancer that includes removing the uterus and cervix and may also remove part of the vagina, fallopian tubes, ovaries and lymph nodes based on the stage of cancer
At Saint Joseph Hospital, we provide compassionate, high quality care to women of all ages, based on each woman's individual needs. We offer the latest treatments for gynecologic conditions and a variety of minimally invasive gynecologic surgeries such as hysterectomies.
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When medication and non-invasive procedures are unable to relieve symptoms, surgery remains the most effective treatment for a range of gynecologic conditions. Traditional open gynecologic surgery, using a large incision for access to the uterus and surrounding anatomy, has for many years been the standard approach. With open surgery, patients can experience significant pain, trauma, a long recovery process and threat to surrounding organs and nerves. For women facing gynecologic surgery, the period of pain, discomfort and extended time away from normal daily activities that usually follows traditional surgery can understandably cause significant anxiety.
Fortunately, less invasive options are available. Some gynecologic procedures enable surgeons to access the target anatomy using a vaginal approach, but for other gynecologic procedures, such as myomectomy, robot-assisted surgery with the da Vinci Si Surgical System is the most effective, least invasive treatment option. Through tiny, 1-2 cm incisions, our surgeons can operate with greater precision and control, minimizing the pain and risk associated with large incisions while increasing the likelihood of a fast recovery.
Myomectomy is a procedure in which uterine fibroids are surgically removed from the uterus. Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors affecting 30 percent of women. They can grow underneath the uterine lining, inside the uterine wall, or outside the uterus.
While many fibroids do not need treatment, others can cause excessive menstrual bleeding, abnormal periods, uterine bleeding, pain, discomfort, frequent urination and infertility.
The surgeon's goal during myomectomy is to take out symptom-causing fibroids and reconstruct the uterus. Women who undergo myomectomy generally experience improvement in fibroid symptoms, including heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pressure.
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Prolapse of the uterus occurs when the uterus slips from its usual place down into the vagina. This can lead to urinary and bowel problems and pelvic pressure. These problems might be helped temporarily with an object called a vaginal pessary, which is inserted into the vagina to hold the womb in place.
Giving birth as well as the normal aging process can weaken the pelvic floor and result in a prolapse, but it is not often seen before menopause. If a patient has a very mild uterine prolapse, either without symptoms or with symptoms that are mild, no treatment is necessary. However, the pelvic floor may continue to lose tone, making the uterine prolapse more severe over time.
Uterine prolapse repair
If lifestyle changes do not provide relief from symptoms of uterine prolapse, or if a pessary is not appropriate, surgical repair is an option. Surgical repair of uterine prolapse usually requires the removal of the uterus and the excess vaginal tissue. In some cases, surgical repair may be possible through a graft of the patient's tissue onto weakened pelvic floor structures to support pelvic organs.
Surgical repair is determined by the type of prolapse present, but generally involves pulling together weakened muscles of the pelvic floor with stitches to make the pelvic floor stronger.
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