The first first robotic radical cystectomy, a surgical procedure to treat invasive cancer of the bladder, was recently performed at Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta. Dr. Rajesh Laungani, Director of Robotic Urology at Saint Joseph’s, performed the minimally-invasive surgery.
Invasive bladder cancer has a very high mortality rate and generally results in death if not treated. During a radical cystectomy, the entire bladder (and prostate, if the patient is male) is removed. According to Laungani, performing this robotically allows for a minimally invasive approach. The advantages include less blood loss, less pain, and quicker recovery. Just as importantly, it provides comparable rates of cancer cure as compared to more traditional surgery.
In 2004, Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta was designated as the exclusive training center in the Southeastern United States (Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Mississippi) for robotic surgical systems. Since that time, Saint Joseph’s has become the world-wide site for surgeons to train on robotics.