May 03, 2006 07:15 ET

REMINDER: Presents: Robotic-Assisted Prostatectomy -- Significantly Enhances Surgical Accuracy With Lower Risk of Side Effects Such as Impotence

Live Webcast From Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital, May 3, 2006 at 5:30 PM CDT (22:30 UTC)

HOUSTON, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 3, 2006 -- On May 3, at 5:30 p.m. CDT, during a live global webcast from Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital in Houston, Texas, urologist Andrew A. Selzman, M.D., will demonstrate the safety and efficacy of an innovative cancer-fighting procedure -- robotic-assisted prostatectomy. Selzman will remove a cancerous prostate gland, using advanced robotic-assisted technology, significantly enhancing surgical accuracy with minimal bleeding, shorter hospital stays, less pain during recovery, and lower risk of side effects such as impotence.

Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men, and only lung cancer is responsible for more cancer deaths among men. Most affected are African-American males who have an incident rate twice that of white males. The disease most frequently targets individuals between the ages of 45 and 75. While less aggressive treatment options exist, those patients with localized prostate cancer who are otherwise healthy may choose the more comprehensive, yet less invasive robotic-assisted surgical approach.

"If the cancer is contained within the organ, a robotic-assisted prostatectomy provides a less invasive way of offering a 90 percent chance that the patient will be free of cancer 15 years later," said Selzman.

In addition to avoiding the 6-inch abdominal incision required by traditional surgery, the robotic-assisted option offers significantly improved outcomes. "Removing the prostate is a highly delicate operation because surgeons must work around the nerves responsible for urinary continence and male potency," said Selzman. "With the robot, we are able to remove the prostate with much more accuracy, maximizing the chances of preserving sexual function and urinary continence."

During the Webcast, Selzman will use the da Vinci® Surgical System -- the first operative surgical robotic system in the world approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. The surgeon operates the da Vinci system using a 3-D console to maneuver robotic surgical arms designed to mimic the movement of human hands, wrists, and fingers. Selzman will make six small incisions or "ports" in the lower abdomen. He will then insert slender instruments, including a computerized scope which allows him to view a powerfully magnified image. Once setup is complete, Selzman will control the robotic instruments from a special command console. The precision offered by this advanced technology allows surgeons to remove the prostate gland without affecting nerves that could disrupt sexual function -- an increased risk during a traditional prostatectomy.

Serving as online moderators during the live Webcast will be surgeon David F. Mobley, M.D., and surgeon Melvyn Anhalt, M.D., who will answer selected, appropriate inquiries during the procedure.

da Vinci is a registered trademark of Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG)

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