Skip to main content
Explore URMC


URMC / News / Live Prostate Cancer Surgery Broadcast Offers Important Education for Men

Live Prostate Cancer Surgery Broadcast Offers Important Education for Men

First-Hand Look at State-of-the-Art Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Friday, August 27, 2004

Physicians at Strong Memorial Hospital are giving the public a chance to get inside an operating room--without having to be on a stretcher--and view one of the most advanced surgical procedures for a prevalent, yet preventable cancer:  prostate cancer.

A live laparoscopic robotic prostatectomy using the daVinci Surgical System will be broadcast from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21 in the Class of ‘62 Auditorium at the University of Rochester Medical Center as part of an educational series for Prostate Cancer Awareness Week. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with surgeons and prostate cancer survivors during the procedure. 

Jean Joseph, M.D., assistant professor of urology and one of the top 10 most experienced laparascopic surgeons in the country, will be joined by Hiten Patel, M.D., an international expert on prostate cancer surgery from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, England, to answer questions about this technology that is quickly becoming the gold standard in treating prostate cancer.  Patients who have had the robotic surgery will also share their experience with the audience.

Following a free lunch, an educational lecture, Prostate Cancer:  Prevention, Treatment and Triumph, will be held from 1- 2 p.m., where issues such as risk factors, early warning signs, screenings, and treatment options will be discussed.  

There is no charge for the event, although attendees must register by September 17 by calling 585/275-2838 or via

Additionally, University Urology Associates will be conducting free prostate cancer screenings on Thursday, September 23 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.  Spots are limited, and can be reserved by calling 275-2838.   Later that evening, a laparoscopic robotic prostatectomy will be broadcast on the Strong Health website ( at 7:00 p.m., followed by a live web chat with Dr. Joseph beginning at 7:30 p.m.

A Prevalent Cancer

More than 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 30,000 men die from it each year.  Although prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among American men, it is preventable, and the best way to beat it is through early detection.

Once detected, treatment options can include everything from "watchful waiting" to removal of the entire prostate gland.  Course of treatment depends on the size of the tumor, whether it has spread, as well as the age and health of the patient.  Treatment options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone treatment, surgery or active monitoring, often used for those who are older or who suffer from other life-threatening conditions. In these cases, the cancer may be growing so slowly that it's not likely to be fatal.

If surgery is selected as the treatment, patients can opt to have it performed using the daVinci Robotic Surgical System, a technology that Strong was the first in Upstate New York to offer in early 2003. The system consists of a robotic arm that performs surgeries using movement that replicate the surgeon’s motions. The surgeon controls the movements from a console across the room that allows him to see enhanced detail in the surgical field with virtual 3-D images provided by a laparoscopic camera. 

 “This system gives the appearance of being inside the patient,” says Joseph.  “The 3-D view provides a depth perception that is missing in traditional laparoscopic surgery, bringing us closer to the surgical site as we can get. In fact, the magnified 3-D view enhances the images, helping to improve accuracy and precision,” Joseph said.

The benefits of the robotic technology have a significant impact on patients and their outcomes. Because the cases are done laparoscopically, dime-sized incisions are made that result in faster recovery time and a lower chance of infection or other complications such as incontinence and impotence. The procedures themselves can be even more accurate than traditional surgery, with steadier “hands” at the surgical site being directed by a surgeon.

The robotic system also enhances the accuracy of delicate maneuvers such as repetitive stitching and suturing. “It’s almost like comparing a sewing machine to hand stitching,” Joseph says.

Currently, Joseph is performing about six robotic surgeries each week at Strong Memorial. 

# # #

Media Contact

Germaine Reinhardt

(585) 275-6517

article hit counter