Will medicare cover Da Vinci Surgery and does any one know a Las Vegas Surgeon who does this?

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sadie41146
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/19/2007 10:38 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband was recently diagnosed with Prostrate Cancer - early stages.  My question is will medicare cover the Da Vinci Robotic Surgery?  Also, is there any one here from the Las Vegas area that knows an "expert" in this field?  I am having a hard time finding any answers to these questions.  I know that they have the Robotic Surgery at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas.  We live in Mesquite, Nv.  But I can't get any answers as to the cost vs reg. open surgery, and I can't get any answers as to which surgeon has the most DaVinci surgeries under their belt?  Any info on this will be much appreciated.  It has been about 1 month since he was diagnosed.  At first, we had made up our mind to go to the Univ. of Utah-Huntsman Cancer Center.  But, were told they will NOT accept our insurance..they are in dispute with UHC.  So, now I am having to start all over again.  Still not sure if medicare will cover this.  We are starting to get a little frustrated and anxious.
sad  

lifeguyd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 581
   Posted 11/19/2007 11:19 PM (GMT -6)   

dear sadie41146

In the past Medicare has agreed to pay for DaVinci Robotic surgery.  If you are on regular partB with a gap policy you will need your urologist to contact and gain their approval. They paid for mine through an HMO plan.

If you are in a medicare+choice plan such as an HMO. PPO or Fee for service you will need your doctor to get approval from your insurance plan.

The only problem you might find is if your doctor will not accept Medicare payment.  You can usually get that information from the business office of your doctor.

Sorry. I can't help you with selecting a surgeon in Nevada or Utah.  I'm sure other people here can advise you.


 
Biopsy 10/16/06
T2A,  PSA 4.7
Gleason 4+4=8 right side
adrenocarcinoma of prostate
DaVinci Surgery 01/16/07
Post op report,confirms Gleason4+4=8
no extra extension/invasion identified
age 65
no continence problems
Back on the golf course...
90 day PSA  less than 0.01 (undetectable)
Six Month PSA still undetectable
Dealing with ED problems with Caverject/Viagra
nine month psa slightly elevated + .02
 
 
 


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 7651
   Posted 11/20/2007 1:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sadie,
My screen name is a dead give away. I live in Las Vegas. I was optioned by three urologists to have the open procedure here in town. At that time there was only one daVinci robot in Las Vegas and there was no strong experience in our local doctors. I left Nevada and was treated at the City of Hope in Duarte California. There I found the very best west coast daVinci staff. I would still recommend them over anything in Nevada. But that stated, I know there are now three daVinci's on line in Las Vegas. Dr. Slavin and Kaplan are the only certified doctors here and combined they had less than a third of the procedures my doctor at CoH had. While I know its a burdon to drive that far, They do have plans to help people travel to their facility and reduce the hotel rates. If you would like to send me an email, I would be happy to discuss the details and my personal experience in Nevada with prostate cancer.  I also used UHC at the CoH facility and had no problems. 

Tony


Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology was poor: Gleason 4+3=7, 4 positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
 
My PSA did drop out after surgery to undetectable.  It has not returned and I will continue HT until January '08.
 
My Life is supported very well by family and friends like you all.
 
STAY POSITIVE!


sadie41146
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/20/2007 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   

Well, both of you have been very helpful..yes, I would definitely like any info you may have on Las Vegas and the urologist and the DaVinci surgery here.  Also, I understand they do it only at the Sunrise Hospital, and that they have not received a very good "grade" compared to other hospitals in L.V.

Any input from anyone at this time would be appreciated.  My husband has an appointment with his urologist here in Mesquite tomorrow at 9:30 (Wed) and I think we really need to make up our mind soon.  Where exactly is the City of Hope?  This may sound unrealistic, but we would like to get this done before the 1st of the year because after Dec. 31st we have to come up with a new deductible.  I guess his main concern at this point is incontinence..and I have heard the outcome is better if he has the DaVinci procedure.  But, from what I read here..if the surgeon is not that experienced in the DaVinci..he is better off going with the regular surgery.  Is my understanding correct on that?  Thanks again, this is very confusing and frustrating. 

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