Robotic Assisted Surgery Improves Patient Outcomes


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For men, a diagnosis of prostate cancer can often mean surgery is required. The delicate operation required to remove cancerous tissue from this complex structure is particularly challenging. With even the best surgeon removing a cancerous prostate, a small amount of cancerous tissue can be left in the body.

WVU Hospitals is the first hospital in West Virginia to acquire a new device to assist in prostate and other operations. And while it requires the hands of a skilled surgeon, the da Vinci surgical robot can improve even the best surgeon’s outcomes.

Robotic surgery uses tiny surgical openings, magnification and three-dimensional imaging to make surgery more precise. “It is amazing how well you can see,” said Hesam Mohseni, M.D., an associate professor of urology at West Virginia University School of Medicine. “The visualization provided by the surgical robot’s magnification and three-dimensional viewing is extremely good, making the dissection and surgery much more precise.”

That’s crucial, he says, because even the best surgeons can’t remove what they cannot see. 

According to Mohseni, approximately 40 percent of prostate surgery performed in the United States is performed with the aid of a surgical robot. And the results of a prostatectomy performed by robotic surgery are much better than one performed by traditional, open surgery.

In recent years, many West Virginia men have chosen to travel to robot-equipped surgical centers in other states for this operation. That will no longer be needed.

 “The quality of life after a prostatectomy is very important,” Mohseni said. “Both continence and potency are significant issues for most men, and with robotic surgery the risk of incontinence is less than 5 percent. And 70 to 80 percent of robotic surgery candidates have a return to their previous level of sexual function.”

“Robotic surgery is better treatment for cancer, and it’s better for the patient’s quality of life,” Mohseni added.

The da Vinci robot will also be used to perform other urology and gastroenterology surgeries at WVU.

- WVU -

For more information:
Bill Case, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087

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