Wisconsin hospitals with robots double prostate removals within 3 months

Reuters Health reports:

“After Wisconsin hospitals acquired robotic surgery technology, the number of prostate removals they performed doubled within three months, a new study shows.

By contrast, the number of prostate surgeries stayed the same at hospitals that didn’t purchase the new $2-million technology.

The increase in such surgeries raises questions about whether more doctors at hospitals with robots are recommending surgery for men with prostate cancer, say the authors, instead of alternative treatments like radiation or “watchful waiting.

The weight of evidence, however, does not show it to be more effective in saving lives from cancer than traditional surgery, said (Dr. Yair) Lotan (associate professor of urology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas), who was not involved in the study.

Some advertisements have claimed that robot-assisted surgery decreases the chance of impotence and incontinence, according to the earlier Hopkins report, but neither of these benefits has been scientifically proven either.”

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