Anyone operated on by Dr Walsh?

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webtao
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/14/2008 11:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I am scheduled for surgery in a month by the famous Dr Walsh and would like some feedback from anyone who has been there before. I feel confident. He has devoted his life to this disease and treatments of it. Originally I thought he must be too old to trust having done his first nerve sparing procedure 25 years ago and may have shaky hands, but, after seeing him on Charlie Rose, he seems totally with it. After meeting him, I still trust him. Although slightly brusk, he is very self confident -(I certainly wouldn't want a surgeon riddled with self doubt!)- and somewhat funny. Just what I want in a surgeon.

Any alumni out there?
diagnosed 7-13-07 age 54
PSA 4.2 volume 50cc
pathology by Hopkins/epstein and mass general
2 of 12 cores positive 5% each with gleason 3+3
Urologist recommended hormones and brachy
Visited Mass General - 3 doctors said AS or anything except hormones and brachy! (won't be using original uro!)
Carter and Deweese at Hopkins both said treat
Enrolled in AS program at Hopkins
over 1 year psa went up to 6.9 and back to 5.7
scheduled for RP with Walsh in August 08


Pete trips again!
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted Yesterday 9:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Web,
I had asked for him to do my RP 4 years & 11 months ago but was told he was all booked up. So I had to settle (HA HA!!) for Dr. Jacob Mostwin who was Dr. Walsh's personal Urologist at the time. He was the smartest and most easy to talk to Doc I had ever met. He must have done a great job because I was dry when my folley came out and had an erection on my 1st try 6 weeks after surgery when he said it was OK. The staff at J.H. was the most profesional I had ever seen at any hospital and supper nice to boot. I can't speek highly enough about them. I would recomend them to anyone facing a RP. I know there are plenty of guys who speak very highly about where they had their surgery and I'm sure there are some great Docs & hospitals around the country. I can only speak for myself and my experiance at J.H. I am sure Dr. Walsh is as good as they say but he also has Urologists all over the place he has trained on Nerve sparring R.P. Good luck my friend, you will shurely be in good hands>
Your friend,
Pete 
55 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg. 3 years depression after surgery prior to Hypogonadizm DX, Testosterone Theropy (Testim Gel)since 12/06. Fighting to stay upbeat daily, I am's what I am's and that's all that I am's! (Popeye)  55 and still alive!!!


Odysseus
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted Yesterday 9:59 AM (GMT -6)   
I am so glad to read your post since I am scheduled for RP on Aug 20 in Richmond VA but have an appt on Aug 8 at Johns Hopkins with Dr. Schaeffer for another opinion. I wanted to see Dr. Walsh but he does not take Blue Cross, so I have been trying to figure out the cost to me if he is MY MAN on this one (how much over reasonable & customary he is plus the out of network cost). Dr. Schaeffer and others there DO take BC/BS, and the hospital itself takes BC/BS. It has been difficult to get reliable information from them without an appointment with Dr. Walsh. It may be difficult to get reliable information even if I do see Dr. W, which could be the difference between $5,000 out of my pocket, or $25,000 or more. (There certainly is not that much in my pocket.)

How long did it take to get an appointment with Dr. W. and how long after that did it take to get the surgery on the schedule? I have T1c and gleason 6 so I do not think I am hurting myself if this takes a little longer to resolve, but my presurgical stuff for the Aug 20th RP is on Aug 5th, before I even go to JH for the appointment. I am torn whether to carry on as scheduled or wait and look into the JH route.

The other matter is selection of doctor if Dr. W 's out of network cost is prohibitive, since all I can find to look at is their JH website stuff, their degrees, publications, awards, etc. but not their statistics/outcomes. HELP!

Thank You.

webtao
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted Yesterday 3:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Odysseus -
First of all, good luck on your journey! (had to add that with your name!),
We were also told that he was 'booked up" and his interview with Charlie Rose had just happened but I have one of those wives that just gets things done. We got in for a consultation within a few weeks in May. He had a quick spot in June but I had other issues with a dying parent and so he said August was when he was scheduling and I chose a date. Neither he nor Dr Carter take any insurance. We have bc/bs that covers 80% out of network and Hopkins will do the paper work for you- they just don't want to bend to any insurance company's rules. Interestingly, the docs are all salaried and don't make more money the more operations they perform. Their secretaries at Hopkins should give you all the information you need. There is a billing department there in the urology department.
I certainly can't speak for what coverage you have, but if you have options, I might consider upping the coverage this Fall when most of us have that opportunity, to a top level plan that does cover 80% out of network and just biting that bullet for the year to get this procedure done and roll it back next year. Schedule the procedure for the Winter. _I don;t know if this is legal or ethical and I would feel terrible if I were suggesting cheating a health insurance company! As to canceling a surgery from your Richmond Doc- i would guess that these guys are all used to that. You need to look out for yourself.
I did find research (I believe by Carter) that said waiting for a short time with low grade cancer like you and I have (hopefully!) effects nothing in the cure rate. I waited a year and we will see how the pathology is after my operation (fingers crossed - knocking on wood)

Dr Ballentine Carter was the first surgeon that I consulted with at Hopkins and he is also well respected. He supplies graphs of stats of his patients through the years and it is impressive as well as pages of patients you can call. He is brusk and to the point - don't look for a shoulder to cry on, but very qualified. He is very published, as you may know if you have been doing the research.
Hopkins is the number one Urology hospital again - having developed the procedure and many tests, and Walsh has done over 4000 of these operations. Looking at the videos of the procedure, I am just overwhelmed with how complicated it is with so many tiny blood vessels and bloody tubes and whatnot to deal with inside - and I really think you want a guy who has done many, many (multiplied as many times as possible) of these at the helm. I'm 1/2 hour from Hopkins but people fly from around the world for this. Living in the industrialized NE USA may have its disadvantages, but it does have Hopkins! If I were you, I would try to wrangle a way in.
All that being said, there is certainly no guarantee and I will feel great if I come out of this thing - first of all cancer free and then better if I can hold my pee in reasonable amount of time and even better if I can get hard again. I hope I have helped somewhat. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Good luck
diagnosed 7-13-07 age 54
PSA 4.2 volume 50cc
pathology by Hopkins/Epstein and mass general
2 of 12 cores positive 5% each with gleason 3+3
Urologist recommended hormones and brachy
Visited Mass General - 3 doctors said AS or anything except hormones and brachy! (I fired the original uro!)
at Hopkins, Carter said surgery and Deweese said surgery or tomotherapy
Enrolled in Carter's AS program at Hopkins
over 1 year psa went up to 6.9 and back to 5.7
scheduled for RP with Walsh in August 08


Pete trips again!
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted Today 12:10 PM (GMT -6)   

Sorry I haven't written back. I'm not sure how I can help you as it's been so long since I was treated there. I do remember having trouble with my insurance company letting me go up there from S.E. Florida when we have so many capable hospitals here. J.H. helped me talk the insurance co. into letting me go there as an in network facility which they were dead set against when I first asked them. I'm not quite sure how they did it but they did. That being said, if I were you, I'd try to talk to them before giving up on going there. Oh, by the way, I 1st called them up in April, went up there for an interveiw in May and had my surgery at the end of Aug. So yes, it took a while but well worth it w/ my Gleason #6. If can help you with any other questions , my e-mail is listed.

Your friend,

Pete   


55 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg. 3 years depression after surgery prior to Hypogonadizm DX, Testosterone Theropy (Testim Gel)since 12/06. Fighting to stay upbeat daily, I am's what I am's and that's all that I am's! (Popeye)  55 and still alive!!!


CPA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 655
   Posted Today 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   

Greetings, Odysseus.  I live in Richmond and had my surgery done at St Marys by Dr. Bill Morgan of Virginia Urology.  I too was advised to go to Johns Hopkins and get a second opinion/consult with either Dr Walsh or Dr Partain.  I am sure they are great doctors with great reputations and JH is a very fine facility.  However, I was very comfortable with Dr. Morgan after he spent an hour or so with us in our initial consultation.  My surgery went great and I have had very few issues with either incontinence or ed.  The entire practice from nurses to PAs to the doc's are great.  I suppose if everything hadn't turned out like it has I would have wished that I had gotten the second opinion at JH but as it is, I am very satisfied with my experience.  My family and friends are here in Richmond and it was great to have them close by during hospital stay (2 days) and recovery. 

As far as cost is concerned, St Mary's charged about $25,000 and my insurance paid them about $8,000.  Dr Morgan charged about $2,500 and my insurance paid him about $2,000.  The labs/pathologists charged about $2,000 and my insurance paid them something less than $1,000.  My out of pocket was a grand total of $250. 

 I'd be glad to talk with you if you would like.  My personal email is judatt@comcast.net.  David


Age 55
Diagnosed Dec 2007 during annual routine physical
PSA doubled from previous year from 1.5 to 3.2
12 biopsies - 2 positive with 2 marginal
Gleason 3 + 3 = 6
RRP 4 Feb 08
Both nerves spared
Good pathology - no margins - all encapsulated - Gleason 4 + 3 = 7
Catheter out Feb 13 - wore pad for couple of days - pad free Feb 16
Great wife and family who take very good care of me


beachbum50
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 7/17/2008 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   

Well Odysseus, I'll add my two cents to this thread! I live in Virginia Beach, a short drive from you in Richmond. Dr. Raymond Lance was my Urologist, and I strongly reccommend him, and decided to use him over JH. Dr. Lance can remove your prostate using Dr. Walsh's older procedure, and has a excellent track record doing so. However, he trained with the JH guys, and then progreessed using the Da Venci method. He is so well thought of, that he flys back to Alaska every other month to do the operations that the Alaskan Docs think are too difficult. Dr. Lance and Sentara are Anthem BSBS facilities, and your out of pocket will be low. Dr. Lance will take all the time you need to answer questions, he has a great bedside manner, and fantastic results. My Pca in the prostate turned out to be over 70%, and he was able to get all the cancer and have all clean margins. I was dry post op on day seven when the cath came out, and have had great results. I went into Sentara at 5:30 AM on a Monday, and went home Tuesday at noon. You can go to the Sentara web site and play a video of Dr. Lance performing a Da Venci (he did it live a year ago). Let me know if I can tell you anything else about this wonderful man.

Beachbum yeah


Beachbum
 
PSA 10 June 2007
Biopsy July 2, 15 of 16 samples positive
T2C
3+3=6
prostate weighed 40 grams
Di Venci 10/09/07, four hours on table, 3 in recovery
Total time in Hospital: 29 hours
Record for Dr. Lance, 70% of prostate had cancer, but NO spread, clean margins,Clean nodes,
First PSA at 5 weeks, UNDETECTABLE!
Catheter out at seven days, dry from hour one!
Second PSA 19 weeks post op, UNDETECTABLE 2/11/2008
Third PSA 5/12/08, six months post op, UNDETECTABLE
The Lord has truly Blessed me.


leucadiabeach
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/20/2008 1:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, Dr. Walsh did my surgery. He is excellent, as is JHH. The only thing that I am unhappy about is erectile disfunction. I expected to be much better than I am one year out. I can answer any specific question you like. I suggest getting his book and reading it end to end before surgery.
PSA jumped from baseline of 3 to 7.6 on 1/06 at age 51
Biopsy 4/06, negative
PSA still elevated for a year
Biopsy 5/07, one core positive at 1%, Gleason 3+3
open RP on 8/30/07 at Johns Hopkins at age 52
Tumor volume "miniscule", 3+3, large prostate
No pads within 2 weeks of catheter removal, urine control not a problem
Use vacuum device to stretch out
No erections without Trimix, erections painful
5 mg Cialis daily (only started this a month ago)
Noticed raisin size lump in penis a month ago, urologist says its Peronie's disease
Very discouraged


leucadiabeach
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/20/2008 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
If you send me a mail or an e mail address for you I would be happy to talk with you by phone. We seem to be age matched.
PSA jumped from baseline of 3 to 7.6 on 1/06 at age 51
Biopsy 4/06, negative
PSA still elevated for a year
Biopsy 5/07, one core positive at 1%, Gleason 3+3
open RP on 8/30/07 at Johns Hopkins at age 52
Tumor volume "miniscule", 3+3, large prostate
No pads within 2 weeks of catheter removal, urine control not a problem
Use vacuum device to stretch out
No erections without Trimix, erections painful
5 mg Cialis daily (only started this a month ago)
Noticed raisin size lump in penis a month ago, urologist says its Peronie's disease
Very discouraged

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