Minimally-invasive surgery is at the center of urologic care at the University of Michigan. Our urologists have been robotic surgery innovators since this technique became available. As a result, many of the most common urologic surgeries are done with the assistance of the da Vinici® surgical robot at the University of Michigan. Our goal is to provide our patients with the same high-quality surgical treatment as the traditional open surgery, but through small incisions so our patients recover quicker and get back to their lives sooner after surgery.
Our robotic surgery team is made up of 6 urologic oncologists and 1 urologist, all specializing in robotic surgery.
We perform more than 350 robotic-assisted surgeries each year for cancerous and non-cancerous conditions including:
- Prostatectomy – removing the entire prostate for men who have prostate cancer – results in improved recovery of erectile function and urine control after surgery.
- Cystectomy – removing the entire bladder, prostate and lymph nodes for men or women with bladder cancer – decreases blood loss, need for blood transfusion and quicker recovery.
- Partial nephrectomy – removing just the cancer from the kidney and leaving the healthy kidney behind – allows our surgeons to treat more complex cancers with this minimally-invasive technique.
- Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection – removing the lymph nodes along the large blood vessels in the abdomen for men with testicular cancer to reduce the risk of cancer spreading to this area.
- Sacrospinous suspension – suturing the end of the vagina to the sacrum to help suspend the vagina – for women with pelvic organ prolapse which occurs when any of the organs in the pelvic region: bladder, uterus, vagina or rectum drop below their normal position.
- Vesicovaginal fistula repair – repairs continuous leakage of urine in women which can happen when a passage has formed between the vagina and the urinary tract
Robotic surgery uses slender telescope-like instruments and camera placed through small incisions as opposed to a large incision that is typical in an open surgery. The surgeon controls the robot from a console next to the patient where the magnified operating field can be viewed in three dimensions. This type of technology, which acts as an extension of the surgeon’s hands, has many benefits to our patients, including less pain, less infection, decreased blood loss, reduced scarring and faster recovery time.