The da Vinci Robot is a computerized system that can be used to perform laparoscopic prostatectomy. All of the surgical instruments are attached to the mechanical device and the urologist then guides the surgery through a viewing console. Six small incisions are made in the abdomen and, as with laparoscopic surgery, a camera is inserted. This device provides enhanced 3-D visualization and has a high resolution telescopic lens with the ability to zoom in and out.
The success of the da Vinci Robot is due to the computer's ability to mimic the surgeon's movements at a scaled down rate and this allows for a precision that is not possible in manual laparoscopic surgery and is argued as exceeding the current definition of surgical precision even in open procedures. The robot has a large range of motion and the ability to rotate instruments at 360 degrees, thereby creating unprecedented maneuverability. This results in a highly successful, minimally invasive method that works towards the optimal preservation of the nerves and other vital structures surrounding the prostate.
Robotically assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy is at the cutting edge of prostate cancer treatment but because this method is new it is vital to be in the hands of an experienced urologist. When performed by an expert this method is thought to vastly reduce the risks of postoperative side effects such as urinary incontinence or erectile dysfunction. It also has the benefit of being a minimally invasive technique that lessens postoperative pain and recovery time as opposed to open radical prostatectomy.