The Urology Department at Northwestern Memorial Hospital is among the nation’s most respected hospitals. In fact, U.S. News and World Report named Northwestern Memorial among America’s best hospitals for urology. The main goal of the hospital is to put patients first, and to do that, medical staff must always be looking for new and improved diagnostic and treatment procedures.
Historically, urologic surgery has been done via open (otherwise known as traditional) surgery or minimally invasive surgery (MIS). There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of surgical procedures. For example, open surgery allows surgeons the opportunity to have a 3-dimensional visualization of the area being operated upon, while MIS only allows for a 2-dimensional view, but it has other advantages. In recent years, however, technology has advanced to the point that surgeons can use robotic assist devices for many urologic surgeries, which gives many of the benefits of both open surgery and MIS.
The robotic assist device used at Northwestern Memorial is called the da Vinci® Surgical System. It allows surgeons to use a minimally invasive approach with the added benefit of unmatched precision and control during the procedure with only a few small incisions.
Benefits of Robotic Surgery
Robotic surgery offers the following potential benefits:
- Significantly less pain
- Decreased blood loss
- Fewer surgical complications
- Less scarring and fewer scars
- A shorter hospital stay and a faster return to normal daily activities
- In many cases, better clinical outcomes
At Northwestern Memorial, surgeons use robotic surgery for a number of urologic procedures, including:
- Prostatectomy—removal of the prostate
- Renal Surgery (for kidney cancer)—sparing the kidney by saving the blood supply
- Pyeloplasty—correcting ureter blockage
- Removal of kidney stones
- Ureteral injury
- Bladder Surgery (for Bladder cancer)
Candidates for Urologic Robotic Surgery
People who have prostate cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, kidney stones, a ureter blockage or ureteral injuries may be candidates for robotic surgery. Each patient’s eligibility will depend on many factors, including the severity or stage of the disease, the patient’s age, and other health considerations.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with any of the above conditions, and you’re interested in learning more about robotic surgery or you’d like to make a first-time appointment with a Northwestern Memorial urologist, please call our Physician Referral Department at 1-877- 926-4664 or request an appointment online.