The physicians at UT Southwestern Medical Center treat a wide variety of urologic conditions with robotic and minimally invasive surgery, including benign renal conditions, adrenal tumors, female incontinence and prolapse, and bladder, kidney and prostate cancer.
Minimally invasive treatments are specially designed procedures that serve as effective alternatives to extensive "open" surgery and external beam radiation. Among the techniques in use in the clinical center:
- Laparoscopy, also known as "keyhole surgery," is a surgical technique in which a standard operation is performed through three or more 1/2-inch incisions rather than through one long incision (so-called "open" surgery). A tiny video camera on the end of a scope is inserted through one of the incisions and the physician is guided by a video monitor. UT Southwestern's physicians are highly trained at performing laparoscopic surgery as an alternative to the standard radical prostatectomy for cancer of the prostate as well as operations to remove other cancerous tissues.
- Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation involves the use of a needle-like probe placed through the skin that can destroy tumor cells by heating them with high frequency radio waves (similar to microwave heating).
- Brachytherapy involves the implantation of radioactive seeds into an organ or gland, such as the prostate, to kill cancer cells – thereby avoiding prolonged external beam radiation. These radioactive seeds (about the size of a grain of rice and containing either Iodine 125 or Palladium 103) emit low energy X-rays that destroy the cancer cells while leaving the rest of the body relatively unharmed.
- Robotic surgery employs a special piece of equipment called a "robot." UT Southwestern is home to a daVinci Surgical System. This impressive robot has assisted physicians in many different kinds of procedures, from coronary artery bypass grafting to surgeries for the stomach. The system provides a magnified, 3-dimentional view, and its instruments work as very small and precise extensions of the surgeon's own hands. Our urologists most frequently use the daVinci system for robotic prostatectomy.
UT Southwestern offers many innovative minimally invasive/laparoscopic procedures, such as:
- Lymphocele marsupialization
- Nephrectomy -- radical, simple, partial and live-donor
- Pediatric surgery
- Pelvic lymphadenectomy
- Pelvic-organ prolapse repair
- Radical cystectomy and urinary diversion
- Radical prostatectomy
- Renal cryoablation
- Renal cyst excision
- Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
- Surgery for incontinence
- Ureteral reimplantation
- Ureteral surgery
Please visit the Health Library to learn more about robotic and minimally invasive surgery and the conditions they treat.