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at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital

Undergoing a cystectomy procedure at our health center in Los Angeles, you will receive the services of the most experienced and highly skilled urologists in our country. Due to the constant developments in treatment methods, our specialists will be assisted by a robotic platform meant to enhance their precision during the procedure.

There are several bladder conditions that may mean your bladder has to be removed. When a surgeon removes the urinary bladder to treat a disorder, it is called a cystectomy.

The most common reason surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital perform cystectomies is bladder cancer.

Like other forms of cancer, bladder cancer happens when cells from the body begin to grow uncontrollably, forming a tumor. If the tumor spreads, it is considered cancerous. If the cancer is just on the surface of the bladder, it may be able to be removed and the bladder left intact. If the tumor worked itself into the tissue of the organ the removal of the bladder is recommended.

Bladder cancer is the typical reason that a doctor would recommend cystectomy. This condition has several symptoms, including:

  • Painful urination
  • Blood in the urine (even in tiny amounts that you can’t see)
  • Needing to urinate often
  • Feeling the need to urinate but being unable to do so
  • Lower back pain; bone pain (in advanced cases)

Unfortunately, these symptoms aren’t caused only by bladder cancer. Other disorders can cause them, as well. That is why the only reliable way to diagnose bladder cancer is with cystoscopy and biopsy — in other words, an examination of the bladder and a tissue sample. Lab tests on urine can also be useful, but these do not detect cancer in everyone who has it.

The main benefit of cystectomy, in general, is the excision of bladder cancer. The traditional minimally invasive procedure for cystectomy is laparoscopy — making several tiny incisions in the abdomen instead of one large one, and performing the surgery through these incisions using slim, mechanical surgical tools.

Because the technique causes less trauma than "open" methods, recovery is usually faster with less chance of side effects.

With robotic surgery the da Vinci Si surgical robot enhances the surgeon's natural steadiness and precision, resulting in incisions that are more precise than is possible with the human hand alone.

Other advantages of minimally invasive surgical treatment are:

  • The risk for negative side effects is very low
  • Fewer scars
  • Less pain from surgery
  • Less risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay

The da Vinci® Surgical System is a new sophisticated robotic platform specially designed to expand the surgeon’s capabilities and offer state-of-the-art minimally invasive facilities for major surgery.

In robotic surgery, rather than operating by hand, the surgeon controls a set of robotic arms outfitted with the necessary instruments. The surgeon monitors the operation through the system’s scope, which transmits a high-resolution, 3D image that is the gold standard in modern surgical monitoring. The surgeon controls the system via ergonomic, sensitive, intuitive controls, and the computer governing the arms corrects for any kind of tremor or shake, meaning that the instruments move with a precision impossible to achieve with traditional techniques.

Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital surgeons have extended experience in operating with the Da Vinci® Surgical System. The key components of this system include:

  • 4 interactive robotic arms
  • A high-definition 3D vision system
  • A patient-side cart where the patient is placed during the operation
  • An ergonomic console for the surgeon to sit at during the surgery
  • Proprietary EndoWrist® tools