Prostate Aquablation

As men age, their bodies age with them. One of the most common, age-related conditions is an enlarged prostate, known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. Though not malignant, this enlargement can make urination difficult and uncomfortable. It is estimated that, by the time American males reach their fifties, about half have BPH. This percentage only increases with men in their sixties and seventies.

Some patients who suffer from an enlarged prostate without evidence of cancer opt for prostate-reduction surgery. Reducing the prostate’s size can increase urine flow and reduce the discomfort of emptying the bladder. BPH-reduction surgery is often performed with robotic assistance. The surgical team uses a tiny, robot-guided jet of water to remove excess tissue in a procedure called aquablation.

Robot-assisted prostate reductions are performed at Baptist Health facilities in Kentucky and Indiana.

Who Is a Candidate for Robot-assisted Aquablation?

BPH is less of a health risk than cancer but can, nevertheless, have a negative impact on quality of life. Moderate symptoms are sometimes addressed through medication and changes in behavior (for example, drinking less before going to bed). In more severe cases, your physician may recommend prostate-reduction surgery. This might be true if:

  • Your prostate is excessively enlarged.
  • You are no longer able to empty the bladder during urination.
  • Your medications are no longer proving effective.
  • You develop secondary symptoms, such as urinary incontinence, kidney infections, or bladder stones. 

Robot-assisted aquablation is increasingly seen as a safe and effective surgical method for prostate reduction.

Benefits of Robotic Surgery

It is important to note that robotic surgery does not mean being operated on by a machine, rather than a fellow human. Robotic surgery is robot-assisted surgery, where the robot is simply a group of tools used by a surgeon and his or her medical team to aid in the procedure. These tools are called robots because they mimic human motions and movements, sometimes with greater precision than we’re capable of.

Robotic surgery offers these benefits:

  • Lower risk of infection
  • Decreased post-surgical pain
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Quicker recovery times
  • Fewer health complications
  • Faster return to normal living 

How Does Robot-assisted Aquablation Work?

Baptist Health utilizes the AquaBeam Robotic system, an aquablation technology pioneered by Procept BioRobotics. Procept BioRobotics is a leading firm in the development of surgical robotics for urological conditions.

Aquablation focuses a tiny jet of sterile and unheated saline water on the prostate, which has the effect of removing excess tissue. Because the water is introduced at body temperature, it eliminates the possibility of scorching or heat damage. The saline jet is inserted by the robot through the penis, so no incision is required. The procedure is controlled by the surgeon, who monitors progress with the aid of a cystoscope that is inserted with the jet.

The combination of real-time visual data and robotic controls decreases the possibility of accidental tissue damage, resulting in fewer post-operative complications. It also leads to a higher level of patient satisfaction than with equivalent procedures performed as open surgery.

What to Expect with Robot-assisted Aquablation

Prostate-reduction ablation take places in a hospital operating room with you lying on your back. You will be given anesthesia, so that you’ll be unconscious the whole time.

Following surgery, an inpatient stay of one night is common. You will urinate through a catheter until you go home. Other than limits on lifting, physical restrictions are few during recovery. Any discomfort you feel following the procedure should be mild and short-lived.

Many patients have concerns about sexual performance following prostate surgery. Though erectile dysfunction following a procedure does sometimes occur, this often proves temporary. The greater precision of robotic surgery reduces the risk of long-term complications in otherwise healthy men.

Know Your Risk

Baptist Health is committed to being a leading medical provider of robot-assisted diagnosis and surgery in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. If you have questions or concerns about your urological health, please contact your Baptist Health Primary Care provider.