Published on July 10, 2017

Small cuts, big results

Patients with urologic cancers benefit from advanced surgical techniques

Traditional surgery for urologic cancers isn’t what it used to be at St. Mary Medical Center.

Instead of having a doctor make an open incision to remove a kidney or prostate tumor, for instance, you’re much more likely to have that tumor removed by a tool at the end of a robotic arm, which is controlled by one of our highly skilled urologic surgeons.

“We almost never do traditional open surgery anymore,” says Jamison S. Jaffe, DO, FACOS, a urologic surgeon at St. Mary Medical Center. “There are certain tumors we still remove laparoscopically, which is still minimally invasive with less pain and quicker recovery. But the robot gives us a three-dimensional field. And the robotic hands move with such precision.”

That precision pays off for patients.

“Patients do better after robotic surgery,” says Justin D. Harmon, DO, FACOS, a urologic surgeon and Dr. Jaffe’s partner. “There’s less blood loss and less pain. And they recover so much faster.”

Next-day appointments

Anyone thought to have a urologic cancer—which includes cancers of the prostate, bladder and kidney—can now call and be seen by the urologists at St. Mary Medical Center the next business day.

This next-day program is also available for patients with previously diagnosed conditions who are looking for a second opinion.

“When we see a patient the next day, the lab tests are usually done and we can come up with a treatment plan, in most cases, at that very first appointment,” Dr. Jaffe says.

“For certain cancers, such as kidney cancer, it’s best to get things in motion fast because the cancer tends to be aggressive,” Dr. Harmon adds. “And there are studies showing that certain cancers have worse outcomes when treatment is delayed.”