Robotic Surgery Training for Japanese Surgeons in

Istanbul Başakşehir Çam & Sakura City Hospital

Robotic surgeries have been continued to be performed during the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in Istanbul Başakşehir Çam and Sakura City Hospital, which was built by the cooperation between Turkey and Japan, and put into service about a year ago. According to the statements of the hospital, robotic surgeries are now widely performed in the field of urology all over the World, while surgeries performed with the robot da Vinci, especially for prostate cancer, are now considered to be the “gold standard”. The robotic perineal method that is performed in robotic prostate surgeries in Turkey continues to attract the attention of the whole World. The perineal method was also one of the topics discussed at the “Urology Days” held online with the cooperation of the Başakşehir Çam and Sakura City Hospital and the Yokohama University of Japan.

Başakşehir Çam and Sakura Hospital Robotic and Reconstructive Urology Specialist Prof. Dr. Abdulmuttalip Şimşek stated that robotic urology surgeries are being performed successfully in Turkey; especially for prostate, bladder and kidney cancer; while also expressing they have successfully used robotic surgery in bladder length and urinary tract strictures, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection surgeries, and advanced testicular tumor cases.

According to Prof. Dr. Şimşek, Istanbul Başakşehir Çam and Sakura Hospital is one of the few places that perform the robotic perineal method, in which Japanese surgeons have shown great interest. Prof. Dr. Şimşek stated “This method is not being applied in Japan. The Japanese will visit us in the future and we will start a special training program for them. After their training, we will accompany them in Japan for their first case. The robotic perineal prostate surgery is performed in the United States of America, and Turkey. Italy is also adapting to this new technique.”.

Areas in which the robotic perineal method is applied

Prof. Dr. Şimşek stated that the robotic perineal method has been successfully applied to patients who have undergone previous abdominal surgery, have had organ transplants, are obese, and patients who cannot receive general anesthesia; while expressing the following information: “We perform this surgery in the early stages of prostate cancer. At the same time, we prefer this technique in patients whose cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes. This technique is a nerve-sparing surgery method, and since we do not damage the urine-retaining muscles, the risk of urinary incontinence in these patients is also very low. Sexual dysfunction is another important issue in prostate cancer surgeries. This problem is much less common in perineal prostate surgeries.”.

According to Prof. Dr. Şimşek their main goal is to make patients cancer-free, and this technique creates a great comfort for the patient compared to other techniques. He stated “Oncological results are also very successful. Cosmetically, we are faced with a result that is as if there was no surgery. The patient is discharged within 1-2 days. Since we do not perform the operation through the abdomen, organ complications are considerably reduced, intestinal and gas problems are not observed.”

Prof. Dr. Şimşek stated that they have been continuing working on the oncological cases without interruptions during the pandemic, and that they have regularly performed robotic surgeries since the establishment of Istanbul Başakşehir Çam and Sakura Hospital. “Robotic prostate surgery is one of the cases we encounter most in daily surgery lists. The number of patients who would like to have surgery during the pandemic period has never decreased. Thanks to the airseal and da Vinci robotic surgery systems, which minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission, we continued to perform our surgeries safely.” Prof. Dr. Şimşek evaluated.