My hubby's initial biopsy and consult (and diagnosis) was from an experienced Urologist who did NOT do much work with younger men however he immediately told us this, and discussed other Specialists. We ended up choosing our own Specialist in the end (by reputation), but the initial Doc also said he would be the very best one, when we had decided and saw him again for referral. The main thing is that the less experienced one was upfront with us. He told me (the wife) he did not want to risk my husband's health and that he must now have a person VERY experienced. We appreciated the honesty and integrity of this first doc who was a fabulous overall Urologist.
I think with your other questions, your b'friend needs to make his own decision after much wider consultation if possible - but 30 operations is still in the learning stage I think - very early in the learning stage, actually. Therefore if possible, try to encourage him to seek another opinion from a more experienced person. I was a theatre (OT) nurse at one stage many years ago, and you see some interesting things. Due to this, my whole family always asks ANY surgeon if they will be doing the entire operation and if they have any trainees (that is usually the case but they should be able to tell you exactly what the trainee will do in the procedure). Our Specialist had done 1,500 alone. He did have an Assistant Surgeon these days who performed certain tasks not critical to the sparing of the nerves or the removal of the cancer. We felt much better knowing absolutely everything, and if you want to know these sorts of things, there is no reason they should not be able to tell you.
Sorry this is long-winded, but you are asking all the right questions I think. It sounds to me as though the trainee surgeon learning this procedure will be supervised by the "boss". However assuming he is not exagerating his numbers (ie. what if he's only done 8 completely by himself etc), this means your boyfriend's life and health and recovery in his hands. It is really irrelevant I agree, how many his Boss has done if he has only done 30 and he is performing the entire operation. Will the Boss be assisting in any way at all or checking anything? What was the success outcome of the previous 30 ops in terms of recovery and healing for the patient? You may want to check out his Boss's reputation on the internet or elsewhere, and ask for a joint consultation with the both of them maybe? Our Surgeon was very experienced, but he still required an assistant for his type of surgery, so beware of any false claims of being a good surgeon if he cannot prove it now. Keep questioning him on what you learn here. If he IS good (despite being less experienced), he won't have a problem answering all your questions about this. This guy might be fine - even a future genius in time - but you need to be able to trust him right now, and he should be able to demonstrate his competence openly. That's what we found when trying to assess various doctors and what they said etc. Hope this helps Dana. Good luck. keep posting, Lana