Traditionally, prostatectomy is performed by making an incision in the lower abdomen. During the past 20 years, the surgical technique has improved the ability to cure prostate cancer while reducing potential complications such as blood loss, incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
Improvements in technology and surgeon experience have led to the development of minimally invasive, or laparoscopic, operations where the procedure is visualized with a small telescope and performed through several small incisions, rather than one large one.
This approach is used to perform radical prostatectomy with a state-of-the-art robotic system, called the daVinci Surgical System. It provides a magnified, 3-dimensional view during the operation and maintains surgeon dexterity through its robotic arms.
UCSF uses the robotic system, drawing on our prior experience and achieving similar excellent results.
A comparison of the traditional and robot-assisted radical prostatectomy is summarized below.
2.5 – 3 hours
4 – 5 hours
@ 600 cc
@ 200 cc
2.5 – 4.5x magnification
4 – 10x magnification
Estimated Incision Size
One 2.5 cm and four 1 cm
1 – 2 days
1 – 2 days
About 95 percent
About 90 percent
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
Clinics we work with
Prostate Cancer Center
Bakar Precision Cancer Medicine Building
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
A treatment option for men with prostate cancer, radical prostatectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the prostate gland and attached seminal vesicles.
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