Robotic Surgery locked in.....

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 4/12/2010 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,
I guess I'm becoming a bit of a fixture on this forum - I hope it is ok that a 30 yr old nosy daughter is on here.....
Dad's surgery is locked in for the 17th May, da vinci, Epworth hospital in Melbourne with a Professor Tony Costello who looks quite good and very prestigious in the pca arena. I know most of you are not from Australia and probably not familiar with the guy, but any aussies may have heard of him?
For some reason it is a bit of a relief knowing that stage 1 of the pca journey is booked in and somethign proactive is happening, even though I know it is not going to be a fun ride. I am booking my flights now to fly across country to be with the folks.
Just an update! and will have a signature with stats soon...

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2216
   Posted 4/13/2010 12:59 AM (GMT -6)   

Glad you've got this definite stuff fixed.
Googling for your Dad's prof found a video demonstration of the robot op at.
but you may not feel like watching it.

The important part of the video is the fact that he says his team have done 700 da Vinci operations, which is good, but better still ios the fact that the video is dated March 2008 so they will have done loads more since then and are therefore a very experienced crew.

try googling the following yourself and you will find other hits that suggest TC is one of OZ's best in the field and that Epworth is a good place too.
epworth "tony costello"

I've also just looked at a map and seen that Epworth is only about a mile from where one of my cousins lives in Surrey Hills. (but she's a widowed old lady now, so I don't think I'll bother her with questions about Epworth's PCa reputation!)

And there are lots daughters (and wives) here who are all most welcome and very useful contributors supporters and friends. We are very aware that partners and family need help and support too

Age at Dx 48 No Family history of Prostate Cancer
Married 25 years, and I cannot thank my wife enough for her support.
April 2009: PSA 8.6 DRE: negative. Tumour in 2 out of 12 cores. Gleason 3+3.
RALP (nerve-sparing) at AVL-NKI Hospital Amsterdam on 29th July 2009. Stay 1 night.
Partial erections on while catheter still in. Catheter out on 6th Aug 2009.
Dry at night after catheter came out
Post-op Gleason 3+4. Tumour mainly in left near neck of bladder.
Left Seminal Vesicle invaded, (=T3b!)
no perineraul invasion, no vascular invasion. clear margins,
Erection 100% on 15th Aug 2009, but lots of leaking
Stopped wearing pads on 21st Sept 2009
Pre-op style intercourse on 24th Oct 2009 !! No use of tablets, jabs, VED etc.
Nov 17th 2009 PSA = 0.1
Mar 17th 2010 PSA = 0.4!!! referred to radiation therapist

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4835
   Posted 4/13/2010 5:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Good luck and see you and your dad on the other side.
Age 55   - 5'11"   215lbs
Overall Heath Condition - Good
PSA - July 2007 & Jan 2008 -> 1.3
Biopsy - 03/04/08 -> Gleason 6 
06/25/08 - Da Vinci robotic laparoscopy
05/14/09  - 4th Quarter PSA -> less then .01
11/20/09 - 18 Month PSA -> less then .01
Surgeon - Keith A. Waguespack, M.D.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1804
   Posted 4/13/2010 7:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Kmac, prostate cancer may be a man's disease but its impact is felt by all who are touched by it. Don't worry about being a "nosy" daughter - you are a daughter who cares about her dad and that's all that counts.

Glad to hear that stage 1 is complete - I think that the treatment decision is one of the hardest to make especially if you have more than one choice. By the time your dad's surgery rolls around, you will be an "expert" on this disease and I'm confident that you will safely steer him through this phase. I am also confident that he will come through it just fine - and so will you.

Life throws alot of curve balls at us - some we see coming and some blind-side us. You seem to be dealing with this one very well indeed, which is a huge part of the overall process. My very best to you and your folks.
Husband diagnosed in 2/2008 at age 57 with stage T1c. Robotic surgery performed 3/2008. Stage upgraded to T3a (solitary focus of extraprostatic extension). Perineural tumor infiltration present. Apex margin, bladder neck and SVs negative. Final Gleason 3+4. PSA: 0.0 til July 2009. August 2009 - 0.1, September 0.3, October back to 0.0, December 0.0, March 2010 0.0. Next PSA in 6 months. Thank you God!

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 4/13/2010 7:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Good luck to your dear Dad, and to your self, and we look forward to hearing about him on the other side, the recovery side.

My wish is for it to all go well for him, and may his recovery be without complications.

Please keep us posted.

David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery, no problem post SRT
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4,  Caths #11 and #12  same time, 2/8-Cath #11 out - 21 days, 3/2- Cath #12 out - 41 days, 3/2- Corr Surgery #5, 3/6 Cath #13 out - 4 days, Cath #14 out - 27 days, Cath #15 - 3/29

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 4/13/2010 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone. I am discovering that it is as much a pyschological disease as well as physical in terms of how it affects everyone. I really wish the word cancer was never phrased and instead we looked as it as a condition to be managed.

Alf - thankyou for caring and taking the time to look up the surgeon. Tony Costello does have a good name in Oz and has advised the medical profession in Canada and elsewhere. I look forward to meeting him and asking him questions. Dad was also won over by the chap by his personality and bedside manner which is important. I'm thinking of you and wishing you the best for your radiation treatment.

I was telling my brother about this forum today so hopefully he can start reading and get some support also.

Sephie - you are right - curve balls gallore - life is never the same. Being pregnant gives me an additional focus to be strong for a new grandson for dad and to not fall apart. And knowing all of the pain dad will have to go thru makes me less self pitying about the prospect of child birth ;)

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2216
   Posted 4/13/2010 11:37 AM (GMT -6)   

I understand what you mean about "all the pain my dad will have to go through" because that really means the mental pain I think. but don't worry too much about physical pain because when it comes to physical pain he should not have much to worry about as he should be given medication to stop him feeling the pain, even if it's just paracetamol. The problems are more about the discomfort.

Just back from hospital in Amsterdam and a CT scan etc. RT now scheduled to start in 10 days.

Glad to know you've a brother to add to the support team.

Best wishes

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 762
   Posted 4/13/2010 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Just a note having read your post. We have heard of him (Your dad's doc) in our past research and he has a great reputation I believe. Good luck with everything. Its great to become a "fixture" - ask whatever you need and someone will come running. It is a great site. A few Aussies from NSW, Vic, QLD and WA here too. Just catching up after a bit of a time away and came across your question, so thought I'd chip in. All the best to you and your folks. Have a safe trip over. Lana
Creed_three (Lana) - with husband "CJ" now aged 52 yrs (49 years at diagnosis).
PSA (2002) 2.1. (2006) 3.5.  1 x 5% core of 12 positive at biopsy. Open Radical Prostatectomy with nerve sparing April 2007 Sydney, Australia. Gleeson 3 + 4 = 7. 2 small multifocal lesions. Contained. Undetectable <.1 PSA since: June 2007-0.01, Oct 2007-0.02, April 2008-0.02: Oct 2008-0.03, Nov, 2008-0.02, April 2009-0.03. Next PSA April 2010.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1267
   Posted 4/13/2010 11:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kmac,

I agree with English Alf --- the pain of PCa is, for most of us, a mental, not physical one, although there are some distressing exceptions to this.

Good on you for being such a loving, caring daughter!

Sheldon AKA Sleepless
Age 67 in Apil '09 at news of 4 of 12 cores positive T2B and Gleason 3 + 3 and 5% to 25% PSA 1.5
Re-read of slides in June said Gleason 3 + 4 same four cores 5% to 15%
June 29 daVinci prostatectomy, Dr. Eric Estey, at Royal Alexandra Hospital Edmonton one night stay
From "knock out" to wake up in recovery less than two hours.  Actual surgery 70 minutes
Flew home to Winnipeg on July 3 after 5 nights in Ramada Inn  ---  perfect recovery spot!
Catheter out July 9
Final pathology is 3 + 4 Gleason 7, clear margins, clear nodes, T2C, sugeron says report is "excellent"
First post op PSA Sept 09  less than 0.02
PSA on Oct 23 test again less than 0.02
PSA on Jan 8 less than 0.02  
Oct 1st 09 -- dry at night, during day some stress issues.
Oct 31st padless 24/7 
Feel free to email me at:    

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 4/14/2010 12:26 AM (GMT -6)   

I'm so impressed by you and the other women on this site who become the front line for support for your dads and husbands. You are really very special!

Please assure your Dad that all of us all rooting for him and for the very best results!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Surgery: Da Vinci; July 31, 2007; 54 on surgery day;
Pathology: PSA: 4.3; Gleason: 3+3=6; T2a; Confined to Prostate;
Post RP PSAs: 09/'07 <0.04; 12/'07 <0.04; 03/'08 <0.04;
06/'08 <0.04; 12/'08 <0.04; 06/'09 =0.06; 09/'09 <0.04; 12/'09 =0.05;
Latest PSA 3/'10 <0.04

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