New York Methodist Hospital Provides Robot-Assisted Surgery for Bladder Cancer

Mar 1, 2012

Brooklyn, NY

Dr. Ivan Colon a model of the bladder

Ivan Colon, MD, attending surgeon, New York Methodist Hospital

New York Methodist Hospital is the first hospital in Brooklyn to offer a minimally invasive treatment option for bladder cancer patients, adding to NYM's growing repertoire of robotic surgical procedures. Ivan Colon, MD, attending surgeon, Division of Urology at NYM, performs the surgery.

The treatment involves two surgical procedures, laparoscopic cystectomy and neobladder reconstruction, which are performed using robotic technology. The first operation involves the removal of the entire cancerous bladder (cystectomy), and the second involves the creation of a new bladder from a portion of the patient's small intestine (neobladder).

"Once a patient is diagnosed with muscle invasive bladder cancer, his or her best option is immediate surgical removal of the bladder," said Dr. Colon. "Many patients also need chemotherapy and radiation before and after surgery. These treatments combined with the minimally invasive robotic procedure result in high rates of recovery for patients."

Bladder cancer patients have tumors in the bladder - the part of the urinary tract that stores urine before it is released from the body. When detected early, bladder cancer can usually be successfully treated.

Robotic assisted cystectomy gives the surgeon enhanced dexterity and clearer vision during the operation. Post-surgery, patients require significantly fewer days of hospitalization compared to traditional cystectomy procedures.

Removal of the bladder poses a need for the creation of a new reservoir for urine in the body. Dr. Colon is able to create a new bladder (neobladder) out of a portion of the small intestine immediately following the cystectomy procedure. Dr. Colon's neobladder surgery can also be performed robotically, thus giving patients the advantages of a minimally invasive procedure, such as less bleeding and scarring.

"Robotic assisted cystectomy and neobladder reconstruction offer patients a 14 percent higher cancer removal rate than traditional surgery," said Dr. Colon. "The treatment also enhances chances for a better quality of life for the patient, due to the reduced post-operative recovery time and the precise construction of the neobladder."

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