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Robotic surgery: An effective way to remove the prostate?

Posted Feb 18 2010 12:00am

I remember an episode of the original “Twilight Zone” that featured a women who inherited her uncle’s invention, a robot. It turned out the robot had the same cranky personality as her Uncle Simon.  Robots have always fascinated me. I’ve always wondered if the day would come when a household robot could grab you a cold one from the refrigerator or fetch the morning paper on a cold, wet morning.

That day may come, but robots already help produce goods that fuel our economy. According to The Tech Museum of Innovation’s website, “90 percent of robots work in factories, and more than half are at work making automobiles.” Thetech.org also states that robots help arrange chocolates in boxed assortments.

What does this have to do with baby boomer health and wellness?  Robots also assist in the hospital operating room. As Gina Kolata writes in the New York Times, some prostate cancer patients prefer the robotic procedure, despite a higher price tag.

This is a subject I can relate to. I may be on that operating table one day. As I’ve mentioned on my blog, I have early-stage prostate cancer. My urologist and I are currently monitoring the cancer with frequent PSA blood tests and digital rectal exams.  Should the cancer become more aggressive, my doctor could very well recommend prostate removal. If so, I may have to decide whether robotic surgery is the way to go. It’s  a subject worth researching.

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