Currently, four out of five prostatectomies are performed laparoscopically using robotic technology. It was hoped that such surgical techniques would demonstrate clear benefits such as fewer side effects when compared to the traditional open radical prostatectomy. A recent article appearing in the January 10th, 2012 issue of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Bulletin concluded that older men who chose to remove their prostate glands to treat cancer have a high risk of developing incontinence or sexual dysfunction regardless of whether the surgery was performed laparoscopically using robotics or by traditional open surgery. The article cites a study involving 685 men performed by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and published in the January 3rd issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The researchers noted however that future studies involving younger men should be carried out to more fully assess the risks, benefits and cost effectiveness of the two types of surgeries. The skills and experience of the surgeons and their hospital system must also be considered when choosing one type of surgery over another.
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