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Prostate Cancer - Watchful Waiting

When considering treatment and surgical options for their patients, doctors may recommend watchful waiting, also called active surveillance. Patients who opt for watchful waiting are asked to schedule regular medical checkups and also report any new symptoms to their doctor immediately. During the checkups, tests will be performed to find out if the cancer is becoming more aggressive.

If the cancer begins to grow at a fast rate or if symptoms get worse, active treatment may be offered. Treatment and surgical options will depend on many factors, including the patient’s age, overall health, cancer stage and personal preference.

Watchful waiting may be recommended to older men with slow-growing, localized prostate cancer (confined to the prostate gland). It may also be recommended to men who have other serious health problems.1

Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of all other treatment and surgical options. Together, you can decide what is best for you.

PN 1002161 Rev A 07/13


  1. American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer - Watchful Waiting. Available from: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-treating-watchful-waiting

Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci® Surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious or life-threatening complications, which may require prolonged and/or unexpected hospitalization and/or reoperation, include but are not limited to, one or more of the following: injury to tissues/organs, bleeding, infection and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction/pain. Risks of surgery also include the potential for equipment failure and/or human error. Individual surgical results may vary.

Risks specific to minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci ® Surgery, include but are not limited to, one or more of the following: temporary pain/nerve injury associated with positioning; temporary pain/discomfort from the use of air or gas in the procedure; a longer operation and time under anesthesia and conversion to another surgical technique. If your doctor needs to convert the surgery to another surgical technique, this could result in a longer operative time, additional time under anesthesia, additional or larger incisions and/or increased complications.

Patients who are not candidates for non-robotic minimally invasive surgery are also not candidates for da Vinci® Surgery. Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if da Vinci ® Surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on non-surgical and surgical options in order to make an informed decision. For Important Safety Information, including surgical risks, indications, and considerations and contraindications for use, please also refer to www.davincisurgery.com/safety and www.intuitivesurgical.com/safety. Unless otherwise noted, all people depicted are models.

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