Urology Center Of Idaho

Urology Center of Idaho
500 S 11th Ave # 301

Pocatello, ID 83201


Surgery on the kidney, ureter, bladder, or prostate are traditionally painful. This is because in order to get to these organs, the surgeon has to go through the abdominal wall: Skin first, then fascia and muscles, and finally the organ in question may be seen. Of course, the cut had to be big enough to be able to keep good visualization of the operation. This fact often dictated how large the incision had to be, in addition to the fact that the surgeon’s fingers had to be able to reach the operative site in order to remove, fix, or replace the organ in question.

This all changed with the advent of robotic surgical technology.

Explaining Robotic Surgery

The Concept

First of all: There is no artificial intelligence with robotic arms which does an operation by itself. The term ‘robot’ simply stems from the fact that an instrument is controlled by electric motors - but the movements are at all times controlled by human: the surgeon. Any movement made by the surgeon is exactly what controls the robotic arms; there is no computer making any decision on how to do the surgery. The way the surgeon sees what is going on is by a small camera inserted into the abdomen.

The Advantages

Incisions: The surgeon visualizes the operative field with a 1/2’’ camera inserted into the abdomen. The surgical arms inside of the patient’s abdomen have the ability of the surgeon’s but at the same time are much smaller than the human’s equivalent: they are about 1/3’’ thick. So only a few small incisions are necessary to do an operation which traditionally required a large (6 to 8 ‘’) incision in the past.

All these advantages exist with laparoscopic surgery without the robotic assistance. The robotic arms come in really handy when it comes to reconstruction. The ability of the tips of the robotic instruments to flex allows them to act just like the human hands: Controlled by a human hand, but 20 times smaller, with better vision to guide them.

Blood Loss, Pain, Return to Work, and Cosmesis 

Small incisions heal faster than large ones, and there is less blood loss during surgery. They also hurt less, requiring less time off work or play. In addition, they look better when everything is said and done some months out.

Example: Prostatectomy Open or with the daVinci Robotic System: Open surgery

A patient was typically asked to donate some 2 pints of blood some months prior to surgery since it was normal to use between 1-3 pints of blood during the procedure. He would also be informed that he may expect to spent 2-5 days in the hospital. Most often the cause for his hospital stay was pain: He requires pain medication because his incision hurts. In turn, the medication interferes with his bowel function returning to normal. This, in turn, delayed his discharge from the hospital, since he is not able to tolerate normal food.

Robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy: Changed expectations  

A patient scheduled for minimally invasive prostate removal has different expectations. He is advised that he may have pain, but the required dosage of narcotic pain medication after the procedure is typically minimal. The morning after surgery he typically requires only minimal pain medication by mouth, and is able to eat a normal breakfast. A drain placed during surgery is removed in the later AM hours, and he typically leaves the hospital after a full lunch.

Taking the Pain and Fear out of Prostate Removal Surgery

Beyond the fact that there is now minimal pain after prostate removal surgery it becomes more and more clear that it not just is less painful, but also more effective in controlling the underlying disease of cancer.

In publicized studies the cancer recurrence rates after robotic vs. open surgery was significantly lower. return to normal urinary control and potency was faster.

So it is not an exaggeration to state that robotic surgery really has taken a ‘bite’ out of prostate cancer. It continues to be the most important form of prostate cancer treatment available to us today.  


Urology Center of Idaho
500 S 11th Ave # 301
Pocatello, ID 83201


Urology Center of Idaho
500 S 11th Ave Ste. 301,
Pocatello, ID 83201


98 Poplar St.
Blackfoot, ID 83221


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