Men who are considering minimally invasive prostate surgery should first check carefully about the training of the surgeons doing the procedure, Hu said.
"They should go online to see how long the procedure has been available [at the clinic]," he said. "They should ask about how surgeons have been trained to do it, whether they have extensive training or just a standard three-day course."
Minimally invasive robotic surgery for prostate cancer is in an early stage of evolution, Hu said, and the surgical techniques needed to preserve urological function and prevent incontinence and impotence still have not been perfected.
There's more on prostate cancer surgeries at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: Stephen J. Freedland, professor, urology and pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.; Jim C. Hu, M.D., genitourinary surgeon, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston; Oct. 14, 2009 Journal of the American Medical Association