NEW YORK, Aug. 6 (UPI) — U.S. surgeons suggest new technology may help reduce prostate surgery sexual side-effects.
Urologic surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia report a new laser technology added to robotic prostate cancer surgery may reduce the risk of damaging the crucial nerves necessary for erections and urinary continence.
The pilot study, published in the Journal of Endourology, reports the CO2 laser — already widely used to treat cancer in the head and neck — may allow removal of the prostate along with freeing the nerves and preserving them.
“Traditionally, we cut, clip or cauterize the tissue around the prostate nerves. However, these techniques can cause irreversible damage due to traction or heat injury,” study researcher Dr. Ketan Badani says in a statement. “The CO2 laser may reduce this risk because it is low-heat and doesn’t require much manipulation of the nerves.”
Badani and colleagues described the use of the laser in 10 cases and reported a return of urinary continence better than the norm. However, Badani said, future research would be necessary to determine the new surgery’s long term effects.
The laser technology — known as BeamPath — was provided by OmniGuide of Cambridge, Mass.
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