Marking a major milestone in what has become a standard of care in prostate cancer surgery, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Urologic Oncology Chief Isaac Yi Kim, MD, PhD, has completed his 2,000th robotic prostatectomy at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, and one of the few hospitals in the state designated to teach surgeons about this technique.
Dr. Kim, who is also the director of the Prostate Cancer Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute and medical director of Robotic Surgery at Monmouth Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas health facility, performed the operation recently on a Toms River man diagnosed with prostate cancer. Robotic prostatectomy allows surgeons to easily operate a set of robotic arms that hold tiny surgical instruments while a computer translates the movements of the surgeon’s fingers in removing the patient’s cancer. This minimally invasive approach avoids leaving a large incision like the traditional open method of prostate surgery.
Robotic assisted surgery can help improve patient outcomes. The procedure allows for additional precision with a 3D view of the tissue and delicate nerves that envelop the prostate. Reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stays and a faster time to achieve full continence are also hallmarks of the procedure.
Like many men his age, 63-year old patient Anthony Giordano had no symptoms. His cancer was detected during a regular check up with his physician. An elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) number led to further testing and a visit to a local urologist revealing a cancer diagnosis in May 2020. A referral to Kim to discuss treatment options was the next step.
“I was initially shocked that I had such an advanced stage of cancer as a 63-year-old in good health,” Giordano said. An active individual, he is a busy professional and enjoys spending his free time sailing, skiing and bike riding. “Dr. Kim explained that I’m too young to opt for radiation treatment, and because I don’t have any underlying health issues, he gave me the confidence that robotic surgery was the right choice for me,” he noted, especially considering the benefits of robotic surgery including quicker recovery and less chance of serious side effects.
“As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute offers the latest in cutting-edge surgical techniques and has been instrumental in robotic surgery advances for prostate cancer. In collaboration with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Rutgers Cancer Institute is proud to be a leader in training surgeons in this advanced technique and conducting research to enhance its use and transform patient outcomes,” said Kim, who is also a professor of surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
“I would advise other men going through a similar situation to avoid hesitating, do your research, and make sure you feel confident with your surgeon. From the friendly faces I encountered my first time walking through the door at Rutgers Cancer Institute to meeting Dr. Kim’s team, I felt reassured that I made the right choice.”
About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute, along with its partner RWJBarnabas Health, offers the most advanced cancer treatment options including bone marrow transplantation, proton therapy, CAR T-cell therapy and complex robotic surgery. Along with clinical trials and novel therapeutics such as precision medicine and immunotherapy – many of which are not widely available – patients have access to these cutting-edge therapies at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital in Newark, as well as through RWJBarnabas Health facilities.
Along with world-class treatment, which is often fueled by on-site research conducted in Rutgers Cancer Institute laboratories, patients and their families also can seek cancer preventative services and education resources throughout the Rutgers Cancer Institute and RWJBarnabas Health footprint statewide.
To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 848-932-8013 or visit www.cinj.org/giving.
About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) New Brunswick, an RWJBarnabas Health Facility, is a 600-bed academic medical center that serves as the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, stroke care, neuroscience, orthopedics, bariatric surgery and women’s and children’s care including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. A Level 1 Trauma Center and the first designated Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, RWJUH’s New Brunswick campus serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.