December 09, 2009 12:49 ET

Robotics in Action: Dr. Samadi Demonstrates a Robotic Prostatectomy on Fox News

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 9, 2009) - "R2D2 meets modern medicine," said Dr. Manny Alvarez when he gave viewers of his November 16th show a true "inside" look at robotic surgery at the hands of Dr. David Samadi. Samadi, a world renowned robotic surgery expert and Chief of the Division of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery in the Department of Urology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, appeared on the "Ask Dr. Manny" show to demonstrate the effectiveness of robotic prostatectomy with the use of the da Vinci robot.

In his show segment, "Amazing Surgeries," Dr. Alvarez, also the managing editor of Health News at, touted Dr. Samadi as "the king of robotic surgery." Samadi, who has performed over 2,100 successful robotic prostatectomies in his practice, began working with the da Vinci robot in 2001. He performs multiple surgeries in a single day with his highly skilled and professional surgical team at Mount Sinai.

Dr. Samadi views robotics as an exciting "new era of surgery," where precision is the key. In the surgery, the abdomen is distended in order to give the surgeon more space to work with. The robotic arms are attached to laparoscopic trocars, which are then inserted into the patient's abdomen. The surgeon sits at a nearby console and communicates with the robotic arms controlling the instruments inside the patient. The surgeon's hand movements are translated to the robotic arms, which filter out any manual tremors in the instruments.

The result of a robotic prostatectomy is an accurate and bloodless removal of the prostate gland and surrounding lymph nodes (if the situation is warranted). Surgeries typically take about 90 minutes and the patient's time in recovery is usually about two hours. Patients are usually discharged the next morning and can resume normal activities within 10 days. Blood loss is only about 50cc, compared to blood loss with open surgery, which is about 500 to 1000cc.

Ideal candidates for robotic surgery are those with early stage, organ-confined cancer. The primary goal, of course, is cure. However, Dr. Samadi is also concerned with preserving urinary control and sexual function. "I see relatively young men coming into my office with prostate cancer and there is just no way I'm going to allow them to sacrifice their quality of life," says Samadi. "Of course this applies to all of my patients, which is why I counsel our viewers to pick the right surgeon."

Now with robotics moving into bladder cancer and hysterectomy treatments, Dr. Samadi believes that 90 percent of treatment falls upon the experience of the surgeon. Samadi, a multi-disciplined surgeon who is also trained in laparoscopic and traditional open surgery, believes this training is the key to his own success. "Find out how many cases they have performed, ask around and get second opinions," counseled Samadi. "You take so much time to research the purchase of your home or your car, and this is infinitely more important."

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