Surgeon's Advice: Focus on Who, Not How

DALLAS, April 27 (UPI) — A U.S. surgeon advises patients considering prostate cancer surgery focus on the surgeon’s experience rather than on the technique used for surgery.

Dr. Yair Lotan of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas made the suggestion in a statement published in the Journal of Urology.

“Obviously, you want a surgeon who is experienced and comfortable with the technique they use and one who has done the surgery often and with excellent patient outcomes, ” Lotan says. “If you go to a surgeon just because he or she is using a robot, that doesn’t mean your outcomes will be significantly better compared with open surgery.”

Lotan’s editorial comment accompanies a study by researchers from New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center that compares outcomes for either laparoscopic, robot-assisted prostate surgery or open surgery in 5,923 men ages 66 and older.

The researchers find no statistically significant differences in the rates of general medical or surgical complications between the two techniques. However, they link robot-assisted cases with a decrease in length of hospital stay.

“The best advice is to talk to your surgeon and ask them for specifics on their own data,” Lotan says.

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