While they can save lives, some therapies to kill prostate cancer might leave men with embarrassing problems.
Now one doctor has tried a new procedure that has help the patients that's improving survivors' lives in and out of the bedroom.
Steady hands, sharp vision and swift feet. Doctor Sanjay Razdan has performed more than 2,000 prostate surgeries using a robot. Now he's the first in the world to use amniotic membrane the tissue that protects fetuses to improve incontinence and erectile dysfunction after a prostatectomy.
"Ninety percent of our patients are able to maintain the same number of erections as they had before prior to the surgery, but no matter how hard you try 10 percent will not," explains Dr. Sanjay Razdan the Director of the International Robotic Prostatectomy Institute and the Urology Center of Excellence at Jackson South Hospital.
Bill Sergio was the first to try the new treatment.
"I didn't know he was going to do it,” says Bill Sergio. “Yeah he surprised me."
After removing the cancerous prostate, a layer of dehydrated amniotic stem cells is placed over the nerve bundle.
"It's not going to hurt if it doesn't work, it doesn't work," explains Dr. Razdan.
Before, patients like Joseph McNichol would have to wait up to 18 months to get back to normal. With this, continence issues can improve in weeks.
"Maybe not 100 percent of what it was before but it's very close," says Joseph McNichol.
Within days of the procedure, both men noticed their sexual function was returning to normal too.
"It was pleasant, it was pleasant," says Sergio.
"It's not a complete loss I can tell you that much, that's for sure," says McNichols.
Doctors are erasing erectile dysfunction, improving incontinence and killing cancer all at once.
So far, only a small number of men have had the amniotic membrane surgery. A randomized study is currently being done to evaluate how the procedure works in a larger number of patients.
TOPIC: Improving sex after prostate cancer
REPORT: MB # 3542
BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in a man's prostate - a small walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and initially remains confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly. Prostate cancer that is detected early - when it's still confined to the prostate gland - has a better chance of successful treatment. (Source: MayoClinic)
TYPES/SIGNS: Prostate cancer may not show signs or symptoms in its early stages. Prostate cancer that is more advanced may showsigns and symptoms such as: Trouble urinating, decreased force in the stream of urine, blood in the urine, blood in the semen, swelling in the legs, discomfort in the pelvic area, bone pain. (Source: MayoClinic)
TREATMENT: Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy to kill cancer cells. Prostate cancer radiation therapy can be delivered in two ways: Radiation that comes from outside of your body (external beam radiation) or Radiation placed inside your body (brachytherapy). Hormone therapy is treatment to stop your body from producing the male hormone testosterone. Prostate cancer cells rely on testosterone to help them grow. Cutting off the supply of hormones may cause cancer cells to die or to grow more slowly. Hormone therapy options include: Medications that stop your body from producing testosterone, medications that block testosterone from reaching cancer cells, or surgery to remove the testicles (orchiectomy). Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy), some surrounding tissue and a few lymph nodes. Cryosurgery or cryoablation involves freezing tissue to kill cancer cells. High-intensity focused ultrasound treatment uses powerful sound waves to heat prostate tissue, causing cancer cells to die. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill rapidly growing cells, including cancer cells. All of these treatments can lead to urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. (Source: MayoClinic)
NEW TECHNOLOGY: Using the da Vinci robot system doctor Sanjay Razdan is able to perform a minimally-invasive robotic prostatectomy on patients with prostate cancer in less than one hour. Patients experience minimal or no blood loss. As a result patients are able to leave the hospital in 12 hours and only require a catheter for five days. In addition, patients experience a quicker return to normal activity, earlier return to sexual activity and excellent urinary control.
"We have a stellar record on that 90 percent of our patients are able to maintain the same level of erections that they had prior to the surgery, but no matter how hard you try, 10% percent will not, and it is those 10 percent that we aim at and try to see how we can improve our results when it comes to erectile function," Sanjay Razdan, M.D., Director of the Urology Center for Excellence at Jackson South Hospital, and Director of the International Robotic Prostatectomy Institute, told Ivanhoe.
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