In 2007 when I had my robotic prostatectomy, there was not a whole lot of difference in the “open” vs the “robotic” method. Now as more have been done and urologists are better at it, I now feel that clearly the robotic method offers significant advantages over the traditional method of prostatectomy. That is coming from a urologist who felt he did as well a prostatectomy as anyone. I now refer my prostate cancer patients to my partner Brent Sharpe who has done several hundred and is good at it.
You don’t hear much about renal cancer and that is because it is a much less frequent disease. I have done several hundred nephrectomies in my career and let me tell you that is one hell of an incision. It is a very painful incision to recover from as well. It went from almost to the back bone to almost the midline of the abdomen and involved spreading the ribs a bit to get to where we needed to be. The rib spreader we used looked a lot like a torture instrument.
The robotic nephrectomy uses several small incisions and often times patients go home the next day. Dramatic difference and is indeed a medical advancement in the treatment of renal tumors both renal cell cancer as well as the urothelial tumors of the urinary tract. The hospital stay, blood loss, length of the procedure, the post operative recovery and the amount of pain medications strongly favor the treatment of this disease with the robot.
At Northeast Georgia Urological Associates Dr. Sharpe is well versed in the robotic treatment of urological cancer and in particular the management of renal tumors as well as prostate cancer. Many urologists are gaining experience and expertise with the robotic prostatectomy but because renal cancers are less frequent the learning curve is steeper for this procedure. Dr. Sharpe performed the first nephroureterectomy in Northeast Georgia at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center and commonly performs robotic nephrectomies.