ROBOTIC PROSTATECOMY COMPLICATIONS

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atshemi
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/25/2010 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
My husband had his surgery one month ago and developed I believe just about every possible complication from his surgery, including a hematoma, massive fluid retention, a dangerous blood clot, tachycardia, he did not eat or drink for almost the entire length of his stay, and a host of other problems which landed him in the ICU for several days and an overall hospitalization for almost three weeks!!  He entered the hospital a healthy 57 year old with a prior history of lymphoma. He is home now and we have been told that his journey to recovery will be a long one possibly six months.  The good news is that his cancer has been removed and his margins are clear.  Pre surgery, we only heard about the simplicity of the procedure and feel that  the surgeon did not stress the real possible complications strongly enough.  Although, obviously ,we had no choice but do to the surgery, retrospectively, I think it would have been very helpful to have a broader picture of what could happen.  Also, I urge anyone who is about  to undergo the procedure to have an advocate by your side as much as humanly possible.  During his hospital stay, there were many great professionals, but there were too many times when
many orders were not communicated, when the doctors' voiced contrary opinions about his course and diagnosis and at times very sloppy and potentially harmful orders were averted because of the presence of a loved one.
 
I want to point out very clearly that these complications do not appear to be common.  As a side note, his older brother was diagnosed two weeks after him and will be undergoing the same procedure in the beginning of October and I have stressed to him that everyone's response is individual and perhaps he will be fortunate to have a smooth course.
 
I also would like to say that I believe this experience is teaching me how to be a better person and a friend and that his angst is in the process of making both of us better people. 

tatt2man
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2845
   Posted 9/25/2010 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
atshemi
- I am so sorry to hear the problems, distress, and complications that came about from your husband's surgery -
- at HW, we are not doctors here and can only offer support, information, and a good ear -

- we all need to make sure we have an advocate on our side -whether it is a spouse, friend, or family member - to help us get the best care possible.
- in Canada, many hospitals have doctor/patient advocates as part of the health care - so if you feel uncomfortable or need more information - they are on hand to help and to listen.
-wishing you and your husband all the best for a steady and boring recovery.
- wishing his older brother a safe and effective surgery in October.
-may they both be members of the Zero Club ( PSA < 0.1) soon after all has settled down.

-please do check out the information links at the top of the page - they also have a site for women only - they may be of benefit.

-all the best
hugs
BRONSON
Age: 55 -gay with spouse, Steve - live in Peteborough, Ontario, Canada
PSA: 10/06/2009 - 3.86
Biopsy: 10/16/2009- 6 of 12 cancerous samples, Gleason 7 (4+3)
Radical Prostatectomy: 11/18/2009
Pathology: pT3a- gleason 7 -extraprostatic extension -perineural invasion -prostate weight -34.1 gm
Post Surgery-PSA: April 8, 2010 - 0.05 -I am in the ZERO CLUB
Sept 23, 2010 -0.05 - again -hoorah !

Sephie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1804
   Posted 9/25/2010 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Atshemi, so sorry to hear about your husband's complications...that's alot of stuff to deal with in addition to the prostate cancer. I am also sorry that your surgeon made this surgery sound so simple...it is definitely not an easy operation (on either the patient or the surgeon) as it can be a long, complicated one. On a more positive note, your husband's surgical pathology report sounds good, so hopefully that will be one less thing you have to worry about.

As a wife, I was especially touched by your last paragraph...talk about making lemonade out of lemons! Your attitude will get you and your husband through this process safe and sound. I do hope that his recovery proceeds smoothly and that there are no further complications along the way. Don't forget to take care of yourself during this process!

Sounds like the hospital stay was a real hit-or-miss situation. Sadly, we do have to be our own advocates (or advocate for those we care about) in almost any medical setting.

60Michael
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2229
   Posted 9/25/2010 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Very sorry to hear about your husbands complications from surgery. A number of us on this forum have had ongoing problems after surgery and also after SRT. It is a major surgery and anything can happen. Blood clots are a risk after prostate surgery as well. Hope that he recovers well and is able to be himself in six months. But 16 months after my surgery I am still dealing with side effects, but they are easing with tx. Keep us posted, and thanks for the post as it is a good reminder for everyone undergoing surgery.
Michael

Jazzman1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 1160
   Posted 9/25/2010 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so sorry your husband had such an awful experience. You don't say much about who the doctor is or where the procedure was done, but I think this situation makes the case for a well experienced surgeon and a center of excellence. Unfortunately, that's not an option for everyone.

I'm no expert, but if you were told that this is a simple procedure, I think you were misinformed. From what I've read, this is among the most complex surgeries in medicine. Having a highly experienced surgeon who has done hundreds of these procedures is a huge advantage.

It's really unfortunate that there isn't some sort of clearinghouse that makes outcomes for doctors and hospitals, including patient experiences, available on the Web. It's very hard going in to know the quality of one's surgeon.

That said, what's done is done. Again, I'm sorry your husband had such an awful experience, and I really hope things get better from here. Best of luck to you both.

For now, I think your mantra needs to be:

The good news is that his cancer has been removed and his margins are clear...

The good news is that his cancer has been removed and his margins are clear...

The good news is that his cancer has been removed and his margins are clear...

John T
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4237
   Posted 9/25/2010 11:07 AM (GMT -6)   
How many surgeries had your doctor performed; if fewer than 500 then he was inexperinced. Was it done in a major cancer center or in a community setting? These are steps that would have increased the probabilities of no complications. Did you look into other less invasive options?
I agree that doctors do not set patient's expectations at a realistic level.
JT

64 years old.

PSA rising for 10 years to 40, free psa 10-15. Had 5 urologists, 12 biopsies and MRIS all neg. Doctors DXed BPH and continue to get biopsies yearly. 13th biopsy positive in 10-08, 2 cores of 25, G6 less than 5%. Scheduled for surgery as recommended by Urological Oncologist.

2nd Opinion from Dr Sholtz, a Prostate Oncologist, said DX wrong, pathology shows indolant cancer, but psa history indicates large cancer or metastasis. Futher tests and Color Doppler confirmed large transition zone tumor that 13 biopsies and MRIS missed. G7, 4+3, approx 16mmX18mm.

Combidex MRI in Holland eliminated lymphnode mets. Casodex and Proscar reduced psa to 0.6 and prostate from 60mm to 32mm. Changed diet, no meat and dairy. All staging tests indicate that tumor is local and non agressive. (PAP, PCA3, MRIS, Color Doppler, Combidex, tumor reaction to diet and Casodex, and tumor location in transition zone). Surgery a poor option because tumor is located next to the urethea and positive margin is very likely; permanent incontenance is also high probability with surgery.

Seed implants on 5-19-09, 3 hours door to door, no pain, minor side affects are frequency and urgency; very controlable with Flowmax and lasted 4 weeks. Daily activities resumed day after implants with no restrictions. Gold markers implanted with seeds to guide IMRT.

25 treatments of IMRT 6 weeks after seed implants. No side affects at all.

PSA at end of treatment 0.02 mostly the result of Casodex. When I stop Casodex next week expect PSA to rise. Next PSA in November. Treatments and side affects have greatly exceeded my expectations. Glad to have this 11 year journey finally conclude.

JohnT


Fairwind
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3782
   Posted 9/25/2010 11:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Jazzman, prostatecomies, whether open or robotic, require expert surgeons and facilities..

What was your husbands height and weight at the time of the surgery? How long did the surgery take?

My experience is just the opposite of yours.. Two weeks post-surgery, I was pretty much back to normal activities..Today, one month post surgery, it's like it never happened...

But you have one big advantage over me, clean margins..What was your husbands Gleason score? And good luck to you from here on out!
Age 68.
PSA at age 55: 3.5, DRE negative. Advice, "Keep an eye on it".
PSA at age 58: 4.5
PSA at age 61: 5.2
PSA at age 64: 7.5, DRE "Abnormal"
PSA at age 65: 8.5, DRE " normal", biopsy, 12 core, negative...
PSA age 66 9.0 DRE "normal", 2ed biopsy, negative, BPH, Proscar
PSA at age 67 4.5 DRE "normal"
PSA at age 68 7.0 third biopsy positive, 4 out of 12, G-6,7, 9
RRP performed Sept 3 2010

Julietinthewoods
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 309
   Posted 9/25/2010 9:06 PM (GMT -6)   
You and your husband have been through so much, and I am so sorry. I was just reading a book about prostate cancer today in which the author expresses the opinion that surgeons are too casual about warning patients of possible complications of surgery. It isn't much reassurance, either, to know that something isn't common, if you are one of those who are in the unfortunate minority.

Hopefully from this point on your husband will make progress in putting all of this behind him. I wish you and him the best.

Juliet

zufus
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3149
   Posted 9/26/2010 7:40 AM (GMT -6)   
I guess we apologize for our system that has limited full disclosures and plenty of zealousness to perform whatever proceedure in an attempt to cure or control cancers. None of us patients are likely informed enough prior to jumping into this jungle, we learn alot afterwards and sometimes simultaneously, some even study up ahead of time (best idea yet).
I sympathized with anyone getting less than very good treatment and disclosures.

Post Edited (zufus) : 9/26/2010 6:46:40 AM (GMT-6)


NEIrish
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 10/2/2010 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Such an ordeal, and I deeply hope his healing can now progress smoothly. The fact that you reach out to others so soon with such strength of mind bodes well for you both. Many here who have not gone through the nastier difficulties you and husband experienced still can understand how frustrating and difficult are all things related to PCa. It's one of the best reasons to use HW.

The men here often refer to each other as brothers and they provide each other with so much support. Your husband's brother must be, if possible, even more concerned about his own procedure. I hope somehow his own path will be made smoother by what his younger brother lived through.
Husband 60yrs., no symptms: PSA 10/04 2.73, 12/06 3.64, 5/09 3.9, 10/09 4.6, 1/10 5.0w/ free PSA 24
6 core biop 4/1/10 path rept: rt mid: adnocarc. G=3+3, 5% of core; R apx v. susp. minute ca, R base bnign w/ mod. atrophy, L side atrphy only; 2nd opnion JH confrmd
MRI - 15mm nodule
BiLatRP surg 7/6/10, path: T2c, nodes, sem.ves, extra caps. neg., adenoc both sides G=3+3 cntinent, Viagr-8/27 ED
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