RHC Jr. said...
If you examine my profile (below), you will see a situation similar to yours. A Gleason score of 6; low grade cancer staging (T1c). Age 65 at time of biospy and daVinci surgery. Good health, except for the PCa. Very active - tennis, golf, lift weights and bike.
I, too, aggressively made the decision for daVinci robotic surgery for many of the same reasons which you have stated. I rejected the other methodologies for many of the same reasons. I did seriously consider "watchful waiting", but at that time the logic of that approach was not persuasive. It seemed more logical to just get the cancer completely out of my body. If it means anything, at the time my doctor had performed in excess of 500 daVinci RRPs. In fact, my external recovery from the surgery was rapid; no pain whatsoever, and I returned to tennis in 5 weeks.
Prior to the surgery, I considered the possibility/probability of ED, and I made peace with that consequence. It was very difficult, but quite logical. However, it turns out that I did not adquately consider the possibility of extreme incontinence and its consequences. I currently am 17 weeks RRP, and am totally incontinent. It's not just damp or wet diapers; it's at least 7 soaked diapers per day, every day. Plus, I immediately void into my diapers upon rising from a prone or seated position. My sphincter is open (per a cystoscopy), and will not close, as per normal. Dealing with this extreme incontinence occupies a significant portion of my day. While it doesn't stop me from doing many things (tennis), it does alter my day and my thoughts. I often think that "watchful waiting" would have been a better choice, and I often consider how many years in my 70s I would forego for a current return to normalcy.
It is interesting to note the divergence in the comments from those of us in our mid-60s vs. the others who are younger. Remember --- with this surgery there are no "do overs". If any of the ancillary effects from the daVinci surgery has the potential of seriously and adversely affecting your life over the next 5 to 10 years, you owe it to yourself to incorporate those considerations, as well as your current age, into your decision making process.
Good luck, and if you continue with the daVinci surgery, I hope that at least your external healing will be as rapid and pain free as was mine
Sorry to hear about your devastating incontinence issues. May I ask whether or not any reason or explanation has been provided for such a drastic outcome- any pre-surgery major urinary related problems? I hope things improve for you- sounds like your worst nightmare.
I am in the process of trying to decide on a treatment method ( or not ) and your story scares the hell out of me.