Robotic Surgery: Experience Drives Success
World-renowned robotic surgeon, Dr. David Samadi, uses experience and skill to avoid robotic surgery complications
Recent headlines are taking aim at robotic surgery, highlighting an increase in surgical complications and subsequent lawsuits. As the viability of the da Vinci Surgical System is called into question, Dr. David Samadi says one thing remains certain, "The surgeon, not the robot, is responsible for surgical outcomes." Dr. Samadi is a world-renowned robotic prostate surgeon and Vice Chairman of the Department of Urology and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. To date, he has performed more than 4,500 robotic prostate surgeries, overwhelmingly successful and free of major complication.
The surgical removal of cancerous prostates in men with localized prostate cancer is among the most common applications for the da Vinci system. Robotic prostatectomy, touted as minimally invasive, typically means shorter surgical times and faster recovery times than traditional prostate removal surgery. As some patients are discovering, more hospitals with robots doesn't mean more hospitals with experienced robotic surgeons.
"Robotic surgery is a proven, but highly specialized technology," said Dr. Samadi. "Surgery is never without risk; patients can significantly mitigate that risk by partnering with a surgeon who has extensive experience in their exact condition and procedure."
It is common practice for healthcare institutions to promote the number of surgical procedures completed at their centers, but rarely is that number indicative of the surgical volume per surgeon. Using his own SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique), Dr. Samadi has performed more than 4,500 successful robotic prostatectomy surgeries from start to finish.
While Dr. Samadi credits years of traditional and laparoscopic surgery experience with his success, he appreciates the enhancement afforded by a robot. With a robot's assistance he completes surgery in less than two hours, thereby reducing the time a patient spends under anesthesia.
His patients have never needed blood transfusions, 96 percent regain urinary control within 2-3 months, and 85 percent are sexually active a year or two after the procedure.
"Robotic surgery is minimally invasive, but expertise and timing are critical," said Dr. Samadi. "The longer the patient is in surgery, the greater the risk of complications."