Further to the point re "experience", here is a quote from an article in USA Today:
Indeed, one of the country's most experienced prostate surgeons, Joseph Smith of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, wrote in a 2005 paper that it took him 150 robotic surgeries to achieve the same results as in traditional prostate removal. Smith, who has performed more than 2,500 traditional prostate surgeries and 1,500 robotic ones, says he now uses a robot for about 90% of his procedures.
Since I'm not a surgeon, I can't say whether he is right or wrong, but I can tell you that his quote is not unlike what I have read from other surgeons...in fact, some of them say it takes "hundreds" of robotic procedures to be as proficient as their open surgeries.
Also, while I would have personally chosen robotic if I had chosen surgery, it is probably worth reading the link that squirm posted entitled "New Quest Article by Dr. Catalona". In this article, Catalona pretty much trashes robotic surgery with some logical points. Again, I'm not saying he is right or wrong...just pointing this out so you can be prepared with questions when you discuss robotic surgery... Also, BTW, in another article in this same issue, Catalona also lays the wood to "Active Surveillance"...
Finally, a couple of responses on this thread have indicted their experiences/choices as non data driven, e.g. looking for smartly dressed, meeting minimum standards or not looking at alternatives because the first discussion provided a good interaction. If this approach worked for these guys, I'm happy for them...every one of us is different. But, personally I'm more data driven...I want to know how many they have performed and what their specific results have been. I'm happy to choose from my gut...but only after my brain has been engaged to get properly educated.
Age 62, Gleason 4 +3 = 7, T1C, PSA 4.2, 2 of 16 cores cancerous, 27cc
Brachytherapy December 9, 2008. 73 Iodine-125 seeds. Procedure went great, catheter out before I went home, only minor discomfort. Regular activities resumed, everything continues to function normally as of 9/1/09. 6 month PSA 1.4 and my docs are "delighted"!