Robotic surgeries costlier but safer: study

Robot arm(Reuters) – Patients who have robot-assisted surgeries on their kidneys or prostate have shorter hospital stays and a lower risk of having a blood transfusion or dying — but the bill is significantly higher, a study found.

The analysis, which appeared in the Journal of Urology, compared increasingly common robotic surgery with two other techniques for the same surgery and found that direct costs can be up to several thousand dollars higher for the robotic type.

Woman chooses laparoscopic surgery for effective colon cancer treatment

As an aerobics instructor, personal trainer and former gym owner, Mary Carlene Shedd was always the picture of good health.

When she noticed a little blood in her stool, she went for an exam thinking it was probably no big deal. But a colonoscopy at a hospital in Michigan City, Ind., revealed a cancerous lesion.

“When the gastroenterologist said I had colon cancer I was like, ‘Really? How could this be?’” she recalled. “I was always exercising, always conscious of what I ate. I was the person who never drank pop or used artificial sweeteners. You start thinking: ‘What did I do? What caused this?’”

Recovery from single-site laparoscopy is less painful for kidney cancer patients

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that recovery from an emerging, minimally invasive surgical technique called Laparo-Endoscopic Single-Site Surgery (LESS) was less painful for kidney cancer patients than traditional laparoscopic surgery. Study results were published in the September online edition of Urology.

"In the largest prospective study of kidney cancer patients to date, the UC San Diego study showed less use of narcotic pain medication and lower pain scores upon hospital discharge," said Ithaar Derweesh, MD, senior author and urologic oncologist at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. "For patients and surgeons, this research shows that reducing the number of incisions to one confers benefits beyond fewer scars."

Kidney-donor deaths linked to surgical clips raise issues of alerts, warnings

(CNN) -- When Manuel Reyna developed a deadly kidney disease, his sister, Florinda Gotcher, didn't hesitate to give him one of her kidneys. When she found out they were a match, she cried.

"She was so happy," remembers Gotcher's daughter, Melinda Williams. "She was overwhelmed that she was able to save her brother's life."

Williams said her mother didn't worry about the risks of surgery. Statistically, kidney donor surgery is considered to be very safe: in 2010, the year before Gotcher's surgery, 6,276 people donated a kidney, and none of them died within 30 days of the surgery.