When you arrive at hospital
If you and your Consultant decide that a private robotic prostatectomy is the best choice for you, our team will book you in for the procedure at a time that suits you. Many of our hospitals offer appointments outside of working hours and even at weekends.
Our team will tell you when to arrive and what to bring, and once you’re here we will get you set up with everything you need before the procedure. Your Consultant will come to speak to you, talking you through what is planned for your surgery, and answering any last-minute questions you might have. You might also meet other members of our Theatre team, such as your Anaesthetist, which can make you feel more at ease during surgery.
During the operation
Radical prostatectomies are performed under general anaesthetic, which means you’ll be asleep for the whole operation.
Your Surgeon, assisted by the da Vinci robot, will begin by making small incisions in your abdomen to gain access to your prostate. Through these, they insert a tiny camera and specially designed surgical tools.
These are used to remove the prostate gland, along with its surrounding tissues and the seminal vesicles, which are taken out through one of the small incisions. If necessary, the lymph nodes around your prostate gland will also be removed.
In removing the prostate and vesicles, your Surgeon will aim to be as precise as possible, targeting only the diseased tissues and, where possible, avoiding other delicate structures around them (nerves, blood vessels and muscles). You will often hear this referred to as a ‘nerve-sparing’ technique.
During robotic surgery, an ultra-clear high-definition video of the inside of your abdomen is shown to your surgeon in 3D in real time. This gives them a magnified view which, along with the minute surgical tools attached to the robotic arms, allows them to work with more accuracy than ever before.
A robotic prostatectomy will typically take two to three hours.
Once surgery is complete, you’ll be taken to your comfortable, private room where you’ll be provided with everything you need to recover.
What is the success rate of robotic prostatectomy?
Success of cancer treatment is often judged by how many patients are still cancer-free after five or 10 years. Radical prostatectomy* is considered a very successful operation, with survival rates of 90% or more at 10 years.3
However, it’s important to note that cancer affects everyone differently, and success rates will be heavily influenced by personal circumstances such as age and lifestyle, as well as the advancement of the disease. It’s best to ask your Consultant directly about your individual chances of recovery.
*Robotics-assisted prostate surgery is still a relatively new technique, meaning we don’t yet have enough long-term data to give five- or 10-year success rates for this specific surgery.
However, a 2007 systematic review found that the robotic technique offered results that were at least as successful as those of existing techniques (open and laparoscopic surgery).4 This is why we have shared data for prostatectomy overall.