What is a Robotic Laparoscopic Sural Nerve Graft

Robotic Laparoscopic Sural Nerve Graft is a procedure that is performed during a prostatectomy in order to restore erectile function to men who have prostate cancer.

Why Would Someone Need a Robotic Laparoscopic Sural Nerve Graft?

During a robotic prostatectomy, all attempts are made to preserve the neurovascular bundles that are involved in achieving penile erections.

In some cases however, due to the extent of the prostate cancer, these bundles may need to be excised in order to remove all the cancer. We now offer the option of performing a robotic nerve graft procedure where we can transfer nerves from the lower part of your leg (that are not essential) and use them to create new neurovascular bundles in the pelvis to promote the chance of regaining erectile function after the radical prostatectomy. Our surgeons are performing pioneering work in the area of robotic sural nerve grafts for radical prostatectomy patients.

What Happens Before a Robotic Laparoscopic Sural Nerve Graft?

Because this surgery is performed in conjunction with prostatectomy, there is no additional preparation that you must do in order to prepare for a sural nurve graft specifically. Preparation for prostatectomy, however, is important to ensure proper surgical outcomes.

You will be asked to stop eating or drinking anything besides a clear liquid diet the day prior to surgery. Doctors recommend you abstain from drinking anything after midnight the day prior to surgery. If your doctor has prescribed medication for you to take, you'll be expected to take them with a small sip of water.

You'll be asked to stop taking blood thinning medications (such as aspirin, Coumadin, or Plavix) one week prior to surgery. However, it is important for you to listen to your doctors instructions regarding changing your medication routine, every patient is different.

Cessation of tobacco smoking is also vital for the healing process. Tobacco limits the flow of oxygen through the body which is needed to heal faster.

What Happens During a Robotic Laparoscopic Sural Nerve Graft?

You will be given general anesthesia so you will not be aware of the surgical procedure. After which you'll also be given antibiotics by injection to help prevent

The surgeon will make 5 small incisions in the lower abdomen through which the robotic controlled camera and other arms will be passed to perform the procedure. Your surgeon will operate a console and manipulate the robot system which will allow a very clear view of the operation and very fine movement controls. The surgeon will remove your prostate through one of the keyhole incisions and will perform intracorporeal suturing (sewing inside the body) to minimize risks of complications.

After the radical prostatectomy is complete, your surgeon will then remove a non-essential nerve from your leg and reattach it where the nerves surrounding the prostate previously were.

What Happens After a Robotic Laparoscopic Sural Nerve Graft?

After surgery, you'll be guided to a recovery room where our expert staff will monitor your condition and treat you for any post-surgery pain. Our staff will encourage you to walk around after the surgery to help the healing process and discourage blood clots from forming shortly after the surgery.

What are the sexual side effects after a robotic laparoscopic sural nerve graft?

The degree of sexual function after a radical prostatectomy is determined by many factors. These include the patient's age, how sexually active he was before the procedure, how much the surgical procedure affects the nerves and how sexually motivated he is after surgery. Most men experience at least temporary erectile problems after a radical prostatectomy. This surgery is designed to minimize sexual dysfunction after surgery.

Additional Resources:

Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy