Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Health Buzz: Robotic Prostate Surgery Doubts and Other Health News

A new study of close to 9,000 men suggests that minimally invasive, robot-assisted surgery to remove the prostate carries a higher risk of impotence and incontinence than traditional surgery, HealthDay reports. The newer surgery's advantages include a shorter average hospital stay, a smaller incision, and a smaller chance of post-op complications, the study found. But the study's author told HealthDay that benefits of the high-tech cancer surgery are being too heavily touted, especially via direct-to-consumer ads that have fueled patient demand. The robot-assisted surgery carries a 4.7 percent risk of complications such as impotence and incontinence, compared with 2.1 percent with standard surgery, the study found. That raises the question of whether the benefits outweigh the risks. The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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