Yes, I had the nerve sparing robotic (da Vinci) procedure. He saved 100% of the "veil" and sphincter. I don't recall the exact number he's performed, but it's in the thousands. My procedure was just last week, so I'm still doing the catheter thing (ugghhh). Comes out Wednesday morning and I can't wait. I don't expect many incontinence issues since he was able to save the sphincter, and, I was doing my "keagals" for about two months prior to surgery. I won't know anything about ED issues for a while, but, there are already promising signs - 3 to 4 inch expand/collapse, even with that !@#$% catheter in place, so that's a good sign, right?
Pow-Sang wasn't the first doctor I met with, but he was the last. He's done a bunch of da Vinci LRP's, and the first thing he tells me (in a very kind manner) is that it's "not magic" and much of what I read about it is "hype". He went on to describe in detail, with hand drawings, all about this Veil of Aphrodite we're all so worried about. Any other doc I asked about it would simply reply "oh, yea, we'll try to save it". There was no aire of superiority at any time - he was very patient and kind through-out the consultation. I felt very "easy" in his presence and decided pretty much on the spot "this is the guy". I gave it the weekend, called Monday and scheduled the procedure.
The day of surgery (Thursday, Jan 22) we arrived at Moffitt 5am. I live about 30 mins from Moffitt so it wasn't that bad. I get banded and the wife does the paper-work thing. After about 30 mins they call back the first group, which I'm in, and we're off to get prepped. I get a stylish new garment to wear, they IV me and we wait a bit. Friends/family are allowed back at this time. The doc and one of his associates come by and chat for a few minutes (confirming what we're doing, etc). I don't remember much after that....
Surgery is scheduled for four hours (he's also doing a hernia repair). Throughout the procedure someone in the O/R kept my wife updated via phone at the various milestones. She wasn't just sitting out there worrying for four hours (actual time in O/R was 4 hours 15 mins).
I wake in recovery with no real pain in my abdomen, but it feels like there is an axe buried between my shoulder blades. They start pumping me full of morphine and I pass back out. This goes on for three hours. I'm moved to my room around 5pm. All rooms are private and there are sleeping arrangements in room for your spouse if needed. about 6pm I get an unreal pain in my right side. Morphine, oxycodone and dauladid didn't touch it. It was trapped gas and the only way to relieve that kind of pain is to get up, walk around and belch it out. That was 12 hours of very forgettable fun.
All those drugs they were pumping into me wiped out part of my memory. I don't recall big chunks of time the few days prior to surgery. I don't recall being told to count backwards, I don't recall leaving the pre-op area, etc. What I do recall is that no matter who it was, no matter what job they did, everyone I encountered at Moffitt was kind and patient with me. Everyone. Maybe because Cancer is all Moffitt does. If you're there, you have some form of cancer and the staff knows it.
best of luck,
Diagnosed on 9/23/2008, age 47
Gleason 6, T1c
da Vinci LRP performed 1/22/2009 at Moffitt Cancer Center
catheter due out on 2/4/2009