The articles/studies I read referred to a docs early patients as "concerning statistics". The recurrence rates are significantly higher with inexperienced surgeons, suggesting they don't get good margins and leave cancer behind. Also, incontinence and permanent impotence rates are higher.
My Dr. told me he as done so many that he can literally feel if there is cancer in the margins and whether he needs to take nerves or can spare them. I did
open surgery, not robotic. I had a consultation with an experienced Robotic guy too who said that he could tell from the way the nerve bundles came away from the prostate. Of course, no matter how experienced, none can provide guarantees against micro metastisis which is always a risk and undetectable early on.
Chris, there are many many experienced surgeons all over the country. Both for
open surgery and robotic. There are also other treatments such as Proton Therapy that have had incredibly promising results to be considered. So let folks know where you are so you get the referrals to the top surgeons near you geographically.
My surgeon is Dr. Catalona in Chicago at Northwestern. He does only
open. Dr. Zagaja is the top robot guy in Chicago and he's at Univ of Chicago.
42 yo. now
5/07 PSA 4.65 at routine physical
6/07 biopsy positive for cancer...Gleason 3+4...diagnosed at 41 y.o.
6/07-9/07 manic research and interviews with physicians across the country in search of the "right" decision. I went to Mass General in Boston, Loma Linda, University of Chicago and Northwestern.
9/17/07 - Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy Surgery at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago by Dr. William Catalona. Thankful the father of the PSA test was right here in Chicago.
Post op pathology was Gleason 3+4 with negative margins, no seminal vesicale involvement, no lymphatic or vascular invasion, bladder and urethral free and tumor volume was 5% of 27.3g.
9/27/07 - Catheter removal...let the games begin...
12/07 - Threw out the pads. I only had to use 1 pad per day for protection against minor drips.
I started Trimix 8 weeks after surgery with success.
I hope someday I won't need injections, but I hope more that my PSA stays at 0 forever.