State-of-the-Art Institute of Robotic Urologic Surgery Established at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell

Robotic Prostate Surgery Is Centerpiece of New Program

Sep 28, 2004


NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center has established the Cornell Institute of Robotic Urological Surgery within the Brady Department of Urology. Robotic prostate surgery for prostate cancer patients will be the centerpiece of the new program.

One of the leading experts in robotic prostatectomy, the robotic surgical removal of the prostate for prostate cancer patients, Dr. Ashutosh Tewari will lead the Institute. Dr. Tewari, who comes to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell from one of the nation's premier robotic centers, the Henry Ford Hospital's Vattikuti Institute of Urology, has been named Director of Robotic Prostatectomy and Prostate Cancer Outcomes in the Brady Urologic Health Center of the Department of Urology and the Department of Public Health at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. He is also Associate Professor of Urology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

"The Institute of Robotic Urologic Surgery is a major addition to our diverse menu of innovative treatment options for prostate cancer and other urologic conditions," says Dr. Peter Schlegel, Chairman of the Department of Urology at Weill Cornell Medical College and Urologist-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. "I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Tewari to our team."

"Advantages of robotic prostatectomy over the traditional surgery include a quicker recovery time, minimal pain, one-tenth the blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and better cosmetics. Because robotic surgery is so precise, it has only a minimal impact on the patient's quality of life — including prompt recovery of post-surgery sexual function and urinary control," says Dr. Tewari, who has been involved with more than 800 robotic procedures.

"In addition to robotic prostatectomy, the Institute plans to offer a wide variety of robotic procedures, including robotic cystectomy (the surgical removal of the bladder) and robotic partial nephrectomy (the surgical removal of the kidney). The Institute will also work with experts in nanotechnology to develop newer tools for future use," adds Dr. Tewari.

Dr. Tewari has traveled widely to various U.S. and international centers to give talks on robotic prostatectomy and has co-authored several key publications on robotics and has performed collaborative anatomical studies to facilitate robotic prostatectomy. He has co-produced educational videos demonstrating robotic prostatecomy and robotic cystectomy that have garnered awards from the American Urological Association (AUA). His collaborative work on prostate cancer outcomes, survival modeling tools, and prostate cancer in African-American men has garnered international recognition.

Robotic Prostatectomy

During robotic prostatectomy, the physician makes five to six small incisions in the abdomen, through which surgical instruments and a tiny stereoscopic camera are inserted. The camera improves visibility, and robotic arms make for easier suturing.

Robotic prostatectomies make use of Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci™ Surgical System, which has been approved by the FDA for a number of innovative clinical procedures employed at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

As part of its comprehensive prostate cancer treatment program, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also performs robotic prostatectomies at its NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, led by Dr. David Samadi, Assistant Attending Urologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and Assistant Professor of Urology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer death after lung cancer. Each year, more than 200,000 Americans are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and as many as 32,000 will die from the disease.

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