Larry Matheny wanted three things from his prostate cancer surgery: First, to be cancer free. Second, to have normal bladder function. And third, to retain sexual function.
Thanks to New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Robotic Surgery program, the region’s only, and the da Vinci S robotic surgical system, he got them.
“In late 2008, a routine physical exam showed my PSA was significantly elevated. I had a needle biopsy performed, and it came back with a Gleason score of 9, meaning prostate cancer,” said the then sixty-three-year-old Matheny.
Upon a friend’s recommendation, Matheny sought the expertise of southeastern North Carolina’s only robotic surgery program, a team of 10 expert surgeons with decades of combined medical and surgical experience and expertise between them.
There, Matheny learned about a unique combination of man and machine called robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery, or robotic surgery. An alternative to traditional open surgery and laparoscopy, robotic surgery offers patients smaller incisions, in most cases no bigger than the size of a dime, or 1-2 centimeters; less blood loss; shorter hospital stay and recovery time, and a generally faster return to normal daily activities.
On average a two- to three-hour procedure compared to its much longer and more invasive traditional equivalent, robotic prostatectomy ensures maximum visibility of the surgical field and optimal tissue manipulation, both of which directly affect surgical outcome.
“The surgery was a great success, and I can’t believe how little pain there was and how fast I was able to go home,” said Matheny about his surgery. “I’m definitely glad that I chose robotic surgery.