Robotic Surgery

St. Luke’s Center for Urology

St. Luke’s Center for Urology (SLCU) uses the da Vinci® Surgical Robot System for several urological procedures. The system offers the usual potential benefits of a minimally invasive procedure, including less pain, less blood loss and less need for blood transfusions, a shorter hospital stay, a quicker recovery and faster return to normal daily activities. The da Vinci Surgical System provides surgeons with better vision, access, and better “hands” through the use of advanced optics and computer and robotic technology.

St. Luke’s University Health System has two da Vinci robots located at the:

  • St. Luke’s Allentown Campus
  • St. Luke’s University Hospital – Bethlehem, near SLCU’s Bethlehem office.

The da Vinci® Surgical Robot System is used to treat kidney cancer. Procedures offered are:

  • Robotic Radical Nephrectomy – Laparoscopic total removal of the kidney and associated surrounding structures. May be required if partial nephrectomy is not feasible.
  • Robotic Partial Nephrectomy. Small renal tumors can often be treated, without sacrificing the entire kidney, by removing only the tumor and a small part of the kidney. Many studies have proven that partial nephrectomy has similar cure rates to removing the whole kidney, without losing significant renal function.

Patient Benefits
For qualified candidates, the robotic prostatectomy offers several potential benefits over the traditional open prostatectomy, such as shorter hospital stay, less post-operative pain and medication and less scarring. Other benefits include:

  • Decreased postoperative complications than open surgery including fewer post-operative infections
  • Faster and more complete recovery of our patients, 50% go home the day after surgery, compared to two to three days.
  • Quicker return to normal daily activities. Most patients return to work two to three weeks after the procedure, compared to six to eight weeks.
  • Covered by most insurance plans

Additional da Vinci Urologic Surgeries

Surgical applications for the da Vinci Robotic System that have been successfully performed by St. Luke’s Center for Urology physicians include:

  • Robotic Pyeloplasty to repair a blockage of the ureter
  • Robotic Ureteral Reimplantation to repair a blockage of, or fistula (leak age of urine) from the lower ureter.
  • Robotic Partial Cystectomy to excise a diseased, typically cancerous area of the bladder, and then reconstitute/reconstruct the bladder wall with the robotic instruments by way of the small incisions.
  • Robotic Radical Prostatectomy to surgically remove the prostate gland and seminal vesicles.
  • Robotic Adrenalectomy – Laparoscopic removal of the adrenal gland and associated surrounding structures. Typically performed in conjunction with a radical nephrectomy, but on occasion may need to be removed as an isolated structure.