USMD Prostate Cancer Center

Dr. Scott A. Thurman - USMD Prostate Cancer Center

(Above: Board-Certified Urology and Urologic Cancer Surgery specialist Dr. David L. Shepherd of USMD Prostate Cancer Center)

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Finding the Right Surgeon


David L. Shepherd, M.D., was raised in Canton, Ohio.  He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wittenberg University in 1987. Dr. Shepherd graduated from Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, Missouri in 1991, and remained at Washington University to complete his surgery internship and urology residency at Barnes Hospital in 1997. He thereafter accepted a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Shepherd served as Chief of the Division of Urology at the Audie Murphy VA Medical Center. He completed his urologic oncology fellowship at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center where he was a Clinical Specialist until joining UANT in 2002. At M.D. Anderson his research efforts concentrated on patient selection criteria for nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy and novel treatment options for prostate cancer bone metastases.

Dr. Shepherd is certified by the American Board of Urology and is a member of the American Urologic Association and a candidate member of the Society of Urologic Oncologists. He is experienced with the treatment of all urologic cancers with particular interests in nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy, partial nephrectomy and continent urinary diversions.

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About USMD Prostate Cancer Center

Through our dedication and commitment to excellence, we encompass all areas of prostate cancer care. We have integrated a concierge style of medicine and very personalized care for every patient at USMD Prostate Cancer Center. Our goal is to help you completely understand your condition, determine your best treatment options and get you back to a life complete with excellent health!

If you have received the diagnosis of prostate cancer, you can be assured that USMD Prostate Cancer Center has an impeccable reputation for delivering an unprecedented level of care. You will be in the best hands possible to stop the cancer and allow you to return to an active lifestyle - quickly, with few side effects and minimum disruptions.

USMD Prostate Cancer Center is the latest addition to the centers of excellence under the USMD Hospital at Arlington located in Arlington, Texas. For more information about the USMD Prostate Cancer Center or to speak with one of our Patient Navigators please call 1-888-PROSTATE.

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Your physician is in control, not the robot.

As amazing as the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System is, it does not take the place of your surgeon’s expertise, decisions  or his ultimate and complete control over the procedure.    Incredibly advanced in technology, the robotic system acts solely as the physician’s  set of surgical tools.   You can be confident that both physician and machine partner TOGETHER, performing procedures  with world-renowned results and earning a stellar reputation in amazing patient outcomes and effective eradication of cancer in the process.

"What should I expect the day of surgery?"

Before the operation, anesthesia is administered and the patient goes to sleep for the entire duration of the procedure (lasts only between 2 to 4 hours). The patient's abdomen is inflated to create an ample operating space for the surgeon. Six small incisions (1/4 to 1/2 inch in length) are made in the patient's abdomen and "ports" are inserted to keep the incisions open (this is in contrast to a large, invasive cut across the abdomen used in traditional open prostatectomies).

During the procedure, the surgeon uses the da Vinci system's laparoscopic surgical instruments and a high-definition camera (which enables the surgeon to see the surgical site clearly and in 3D!) to direct the dissection of the prostate gland and surrounding tissue. The surgeon then uses nerve-sparing techniques to preserve the nerves attached to the prostate gland. At the end of the surgery, the ports are removed from the patient's abdomen and the remaining incisions are closed with sutures.

The patient will wake up with a urinary catheter in place. He will likely spend one night in the hospital resting and recovering from the effects of anesthesia. As anesthesia wears off, there may be discomfort, for which pain medication may be administered. The medical team will help the patient begin to sit upright, stand and eventually walk around– which is recommended throughout the recovery period. Because a catheter typically remains in place for approximately 7 days, the doctor will review guidelines for its use that will ease discomfort and ensure proper function of the catheter during this time.

To learn more about the robotic prostatectomy procedure, please consult a physician or request a consultation from USMD Prostate Cancer Center!

Introducing the da Vinci®
Robotic Surgery System


Robotic surgery using the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System, particularly used for treatment of prostate cancer at USMD Prostate Cancer Center in Arlington, Texas, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure technique that allows a surgeon more precision, safety and overall effectiveness in the operating room over traditional surgical methods.

Robotic Surgery and Prostate Cancer

Robotic surgery for prostate cancer allows surgeons to effectively and precisely treat prostate cancer with numerous benefits, which include:

  • Reduced Scarring
  • Less Trauma and Pain
  • Rapid Recovery
  • Shorter Hospital stays
  • Nerve-Sparing Techniques used to help preserve urinary and erectile functions after surgery.

Further, the da Vinci system allows experienced surgeons to extend their expertise and utilize the following technological elements through robot-assisted surgery:

  • Enhanced 3-D analysis of the surgical area
  • Improved dexterity
  • Enhanced surgical precision
  • Amplified range of motion

Your surgeon will discuss all potential benefits and risks with you before your procedure, as not all benefits can be guaranteed. However, the da Vinci System has proven to be an effective advanced instrument, allowing your surgeon to perform your procedure with added accuracy and precision. The robot is not in control of the procedure – rather, your surgeon controls all aspects of your treatment utilizing the da Vinci System.

CLICK HERE to learn about the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System at USMD Prostate Cancer Center!


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Your Questions Answered

"What are the advantages to Robotic Surgery using the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System over conventional surgery? Is it as effective? What kind of results can I expect within reason?"

When faced with the choice to undergo surgery, most patients have many questions when considering recommended surgical methods. The experienced, world-class physicians at USMD Prostate Cancer Center in Arlington, Texas, have answers to a handful of key questions in an effort to educate you about the many advantages to this amazing surgical technology.

CLICK HERE to read more!


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Thanks to advanced surgical technologies, many surgeons utilize the treatment advantages offered through the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System. The da Vinci Robot enables the surgeon to perform a major surgical operation through very small incisions, potentially offering significantly less pain, a shorter hospital stay and a faster, more complete return to normal activities!

"What actually happens during my treatment using the da Vinci Surgical System?"

Physicians often refer to this procedure as a robot-assisted "prostatectomy", or removal of the prostate. Under the right conditions, this is regarded as the best way to ensure that cancer cells of the prostate are eradicated from the body as completely as possible.

In contrast to traditional "open" prostatectomies, the procedure using the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System is far less invasive than conventional open and laparoscopic methods. This results in a procedure performed with incredible accuracy, involving far less post-operative pain and concluding with a faster, more complete recovery!

Millimeters Matter

In prostate cancer treatment, the awareness and preservation of nerve fibers and blood vessels that are attached to the prostate gland is critical. To spare these nerves, a surgeon must delicately and precisely separate them before removing the prostate. The da Vinci Robotic Surgery System is able to perform these functions with amazing precision – increasing the ability for a patient to retain urinary and erectile function after surgery.

This aspect is of crucial interest to most patients undergoing a prostatectomy procedure.   The accuracy of the da Vinci Robot enables surgeons to more effectively remove the prostate while helping each and every patient return to a normal life.

Cancer Control

In several published studies, da Vinci robot-assisted prostatectomies have shown equal or lower rates of positive surgical margins (margins within cancer cells left behind) than other forms of surgery.

Urinary Continence and Sexual Function

Studies show patients who undergo a robot-assisted prostatectomy may experience a faster return of urinary continence following surgery and lower rates of urinary pain than radiation patients. Several studies also show patients who are potent prior to surgery recover their sexual function within a year following surgery assisted by the da Vinci Robot. Talk with your surgeon about realistic expectations for the recovery of sexual function and other rehabilitation programs available to you (this may include exercise and drug therapy).

CLICK HERE to learn about the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System at USMD Prostate Cancer Center!

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