Urothelial cancer treated with da Vinci surgery

Source: Shuang Ho Hospital

Published on 2018-08-24

When dialysis patients discover blood in their urine, and tests and biopsies reveal they have urothelial cancer, they often undergo da Vinci surgery to remove the urinary system and prevent cancer metastasis and relapse.

Robotic surgical system

The most common symptoms in urothelial cancer include sporadic hematuria (blood in urine) and torso pain. When the patient is anorexic, has lost weight, feels fatigued and feverish, has night sweats or a cough, or has a history of dialysis, the possibility of the cancer metastasizing must be carefully considered. Dr. Kao says that 90% of urothelial cancer patients had hematuria without prior pain. He described one patient with sporadic hematuria but no pain or discomfort. Urography and abdominal computer tomography revealed abnormalities, and due to the patient’s long history of dialysis, Dr. Kuo recommended a biopsy using uroscopy for diagnosis.

With the advancement in modern medical technology, using da Vinci surgery the operation takes less than 5 hours, leaving 5 wounds of less than 1cm each. Blood loss during surgery is approximately 500ml, significantly less than from conventional surgeries due to the small wounds and reduced bleeding and pain. Follow-up visits also are fewer and less complicated after this surgery compared with traditional procedures.

Dr. Kao explains the range of the da Vinci surgery.

 Did you know?

According to the Formosa Medical Association, about one thousand new cases of urothelial cancer are diagnosed in Taiwan each year, a rate of occurrence more than 5 times that of the United States, and also 4-5 times higher than Japan, Singapore and the Philippines. Based on his clinical experience, Dr. Kao says that the occurrence rate is not only high in Taiwan, but is more likely to occur in women (52% in women, 48% in men), while elsewhere the cancer occurs more than twice as often in men. If urothelial cancer is detected and treated early, the 5-year survival rate can reach 90%. Therefore Dr. Kao recommends seeking medical help as soon as blood can be seen in urine to determine the cause of the problem. If it is a tumor, do not be afraid of treatment, as physicians will provide appropriate treatment options based on age, physical condition and tumor size.

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