Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy
Mr Alan Doherty, Clinical Director of Birmingham Prostate Clinic, is one of the most experienced surgeons in laparoscopic radical prostatectomy within the UK.
He has completed more than 3,000 prostatectomies, removing the whole prostate following a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Mr Doherty was one of the first surgeons to carry out the procedure as laparoscopic surgery, through tiny incisions rather than the large incisions used in open surgery.
Laparoscopic surgery offers the benefits of much reduced bleeding, far less soft tissue damage, a shorter stay in hospital followed by an easier and quicker recovery.
The majority of our prostate cancer patients now leave hospital without a catheter, the catheter being removed within two days. This is possible because of the quality of the anastomosis achieved during laparoscopic surgery. The anastomosis is the reconnection, or join, between the bladder and urethra made after removing the prostate during a prostatectomy. Find out more about what to expect after a prostatectomy.
This type of surgery is technically challenging and there are only a relatively small number of UK surgeons who have undertaken a large number of these operations.
A recent report for the Lancet Oncology (April 2009) assesses 4,702 patients with prostate cancer who had been treated with laparoscopic prostatectomy. It concludes: “Patients treated by surgeons with more experience had less recurrence of disease than those patients treated by less experienced colleagues.”
Lead author Andrew Vickers PhD comments: “We report an 8% difference in recurrence rates between experienced and inexperienced surgeons. Experienced surgeons have lower recurrence rates, so we need to learn what they are doing differently.” The full study can be accessed in The Lancet.
You will be advised on the best technique for you personally during your consultation. If having nerve-sparing surgery is your priority, Mr Doherty advises that open surgery is the most reliable approach for nerve-sparing results.
Our results centre shows the progress of all prostate cancer surgery patients in a unique, interactive format. However a laparoscopic prostatectomy remains a good option for some men, particularly those who are older and less able to tolerate an open procedure.
“Having undertaken more than 2,000 prostatectomies, I know the benefits this experience brings to my work in terms of outcomes for patients. I was one of the first surgeons in the UK to carry out keyhole prostatectomy in 2003.”