Who here has been operated on by Dr. Catalona? I am considering him.

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 830
   Posted 5/13/2008 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
What was your experience like?  I know he only does open surgery, but he has done a lot.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 5/13/2008 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Chris, are you planning to do open surgery? Just wondering why you choose open over Robotic (not that one is better over the other).
Biopsy done 3/2008
Pathology report: Gleason 6 (3+3), involving left lobe
DRE=15gm with indurated left base and mid prostate
Cores positive: left base medial, left base lateral, left mid medial and left mid lateral (4 of 12)
Clinical stage t2b.
Prostate Carcinorna 185
DaVinci Surgery on 4/21/2008 in Austin by Dr Randy Fagin.
Pathologist report upgraded to a Gleason 7 (3+4)
Clinical stage upgraded also to a T3a
Margins Clear

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 830
   Posted 5/13/2008 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I am looking for someone with the most experience.  I don't care if it is robotic or not.  I want a surgeon that has done over 1000....

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 203
   Posted 5/13/2008 3:09 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Chris,

My husbands doctor did perineal and he has done over 3000. Its not done that much anymore but we chose it because we trusted the surgeon and felt he knew what he was doing. You probably are not interested in having it done this way but if so and you want any info, just let me know. We are in Virginia.

Age 51 Kent Cindy 49
January 08 PSA 5.2 round of antibiotics went to 4.3
February 08 another round of antibiotics went to 4.2
March 17,08 had biopsy, 2 days later told cancer was on
one entire side of prostate.
Gleason 3+3
Doctor thinks its best to get the whole prostate with Perineal  Prostatectomy.
Surgery scheduled for this Thursday April 10th. Only took 1 1/2 hours. In recovery 1 hour.  Both nerves were spared.
Home 4-11 - incision looks completly healed on the outside by 4-25
Cath out 4-22 dripping some
5-3 Still incontinence with sneezing or coughing but not too bad
Cialis 5 mg at night to start. Didn't agree with system. Viagra 50 mg daily. Already having full erections. Still have a ways to go though, of course.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 5/13/2008 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Catalona does 8 per week, according to his web site.

Danman Bob, Born 1951
Nerve-sparing, open prostate surgery November 13, 2007
Gleason score 9, PSA 14; Biopsy result - 9 of 12 sticks showed cancer
Post-op pathology stated that cancer was confined to the prostate
Unrelated surgery January 2008 delayed incontinence recovery, which is now showing good signs of improvement (fraction of a pad a day as of late April 2008)
100 MG Viagra 3 times a week beginning December 2007
Osbon Erec-Aid Esteem manual pump for therapy beginning mid-February 2008
30 MG papaverine/1 MG phentolamine bimix injections beginning late April 2008
Five week post-op PSA 0.2, five month post-op PSA 0.1, next test August 2008

Mark R.
New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 5/13/2008 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
This doesn't answer your question but I went to Catalona for a second opinion and because he is an expert's expert, arguably the developer of the PSA test and had done over 5,000 surgeries. Wherever I turned here in Chicago his name came up. His office staff was great and he was very informative, as was his web site. I was a little underwhelmed with his personality and his knowledge of my records which were not up to date and which he obviously had not read before our visit. That said, after leaving his office I was convinced my decision to do the open versus robotic was the right choice for me.  Dr. Catalona's expertise came across loud and clear during our meeting and both my wife and I were impressed. The only decision I had left after our meeting was whether I was going to use Dr. Catalona, who had done a good friend's surgery, or my urologist, Dr. Joel Cornfield out of Hinsdale Hospital.
I ended up choosing Dr. Cornfield because my wife worked with him for 10 years (she is a Nurse Anesthetist), knew his skill as a surgeon (800+ radical surgeries), had a great bedside manner and a very suportive office staff, AND I felt that I would get very personalized attention from him during the surgery and post-op. I would also get personalized attention from the Hinsdale staff, which I did. In fact, when we got down to surgery, I was surrounded by Doctors and Nurses because they all wanted to say hello to Betsy and offer her and me their support. With Dr. Catalona, and this is just my opinion, I felt that everything would be much more impersonal even though I might receive expert care and treatment. My friend confirmed this by telling me that whenever he goes back to see Dr. Catalona, Dr. Catalona doesn't really know who he is. That said, he is happy with his choice and I am with mine. I realize most people won't have the inside track into a hospital like I did, but I still liked the lower volume 'boutique' service versus the higher volume environment at Northwestern.
As for results, my friend wore a pad for about six months and is using .2ML of Trimix 2 years later to achieve an erection. He was 48 at the time of surgery. He also has a very mild form of MS.
I was continent the day the cathether was removed and I'll be testing the Trimix (which I used before because of the MS) with Betsy tonight or tomorrow night so I'll keep you posted:)
"In theory, theory and practice are the same, in practice they're not"
Joined Club PCa 4/17/08 with an open radical retropubic prostatectomy
PSA 2.8>3.4 in 6 months
3/12 positive biopsy cores, T1a
Gleason 6 - pre/post op,
Margins, bone scan, x-ray negative.
Cat-scan showed kidney mass, removed 5/17 via radio frequency ablation
Catheter 18 days, dry immediately with some conscious effort
Living with Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years - now PCa and questionable renal mass - I'm an overachiever!

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2335
   Posted 5/14/2008 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Chris--Here is something I ran across from Johns Hopkins related to experience: In a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 7,700 patients and 72 surgeons were examined between the years 1987 and 2003.
Cancer recurrence was 7% higher in patients whose doctors had completed only 10 prior prostatectomies.  Doctors didn't reach the maximum skill level until 250 surgeries.  (The study did not measure incontinence/impotence but only cancer recurrence)
Dr H Ballentine Carter, professor of urology at JHU, stressed that "Some surgeons may not have completed as many operations but are extremely focused and conscientious and have very favorable outcomes--and the reverse may also be true."

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