3D prostate surgery aids patient recovery

MIAMI (NBC) - A combination of robotics and 3D technology are helping make delicate prostate surgeries more precise.

When men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, the concern is they won't recover full bladder and sexual function. The new procedures give hope to avoiding those life-changing side effects.

Ricardo Alvarez, 47, had his prostate removed just five weeks ago and is amazed by his own recovery.

"Two weeks after surgery, I was doing my normal life," he said.

The operation took place in a state-of-the art 3D robotic operating suite where two 110-inch screens display what the surgeon sees in the console where the robot is controlled.

Surgeons also wear special, dark glasses to add depth perception and make the picture crystal clear.

An added benefit is that operating room assistants and doctors in training can now see real time surgery in high definition 3D as it happens.

"It's more precise and gentle on the patient because they are not unnecessarily touching or retracting tissue which does not need to be touched," Dr. Alok Shirivastava said.

Alvarez was among the first patients to feel the benefits.

"My sexual function is normal. I have incontinence, but very minimal. I'm not worried about it," he said.

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