Robotic surgery improving prostate cancer treatment in SA

Robotic surgery has improved the treatment of prostate cancer in South Africa, reducing side effects by lowering levels of incontinence and impotence significantly compared to conventional open surgery, according to one of SA’s leading urologists, Dr Lance Coetzee.

Coetzee, from The Urology Hospital, Pretoria, was speaking at the World Congress of Endourology in Cape Town, where he highlighted the success of three years of robotically assisted urological surgery at the hospital. Coetzee has performed 25% of 1 600 robotic prostatectomies (prostate removal) in SA — the highest by any one surgeon in the country.

“After three years, data shows that robotic surgery has reduced side effects significantly.

“Blood loss is dramatically lower – about 0.3% of my patients have required transfusions compared to the majority of patients with open surgery needing transfusions,” added Coetzee.

Just as significantly, Coetzee said incontinence and post-operative erectile function – both effects of surgery — achieved far better outcomes from robotic surgery with full potency returning after nine months to 78% of his patients across all ages (this is as high as 84% in younger patients), compared to 61% in 18 months after open surgery.

In addition, hospital stay is dramatically reduced compared to open surgery.

It is estimated one in every 23 South African men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide.



About The Urology Hospital:

The Urology Hospital has been in existence for 20 years and is the only specialised urology hospital in Africa. It strives to be ‘Outstanding due to Excellence’. Twenty top urologists are based at the hospital, offering unparalleled expertise under one roof.

The Urology Hospital uses highly specialised technology, focusing inter alia on prostate disease/cancer, kidney stones, bladder problems, urological cancer management, female urology and paediatric urology. Other common procedures include prostatectomies, nephrectomies (surgical removal of kidney), partial nephrectomies, circumcisions, vasectomies and male infertility. The hospital works closely with The Department of Urology at the University of Pretoria’s Medical School to ensure the highest standard of trained staff at all times.


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