I'd like to talk with anyone who had surgery by Dr. Vipul Patel in Celebration FL

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I use to be a fish
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Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 4/13/2011 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
We'd like to have a consultation with Dr. Patel in Celebration FL. I have read that he has performed the most robotic surgeries in the world. My husband's urologist (Dr. Rivera) in Winter Park said he (Dr. Patel) was an excellent surgeon. I'd like to know how many different people are involved in the surgery. Dr. Rivera said that Dr. Patel has PA's who will prep the individual for surgery, then Dr. Patel comes in and does his magic. Dr. Rivera made it sound that he & his partner would do the prep for surgery, do the surgery, than my husband would wake up to Dr. Rivera's face after the surgery. Then he would see would personally see my husband for the next 15 years. Sounds like lots of personal attention from Dr. Rivera at Winter Park. He said that he stopped counting how many robotic surgeries he had performed after 500 (which I believe was last year). However, if Dr. Patel's specialty is robotic prostatectomies it would seem that he'd be the best one to have do the surgery, with thousands performed. Just wanted to know if he has students doing the surgeries? Or how many "trainees" are involved?

RHB47 informed me in an earlier post that her husband had surgery by doctor Patel and she would be happy to answer any questions I had. I don't know how to contact her. No email address given in her profile.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 4/13/2011 5:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Dr. Patel is very well respected.

My sister is very good friends with a urologist who studied with him and he says Patel is excellent. If you want I can ask my sister to put her friend in contact with you. That way you can ask very direct questions.

I don't know if he does all the surgeries start to finish himself. I know my surgeon, Dr. Samadi, does and he has pretty much th esame numbers. So it's possible Patel does them all also.

Patel is very well regarded int he industry. he has done 4000+ surgeries but I don't know if all are robotic.

My surgeon recently did a symposium with him in Miami where he ( my surgeon) operated on someone I have become good friends with. I believe that if my surgeon is associated with Patel it must mean Patel is excellent.

One piece of friendly advice, Patel, like my surgeon, uses a lot of social media to spread the word on this disease and how to combat it effectively. That probably rubs some the wrong way ( hence the 0 responses to your genuine question ), so don't come back here telling everyone how great things went because you'll offend someone or worse be treated as an alleged patient.

Good luck in whatever you choose, sounds liek you're in great hands and in all probablility you'll be fine. This is a very treatable disease with high cure rate when caught early and handled by someone with skill.

feel free to take me up on the above mentioned offer. Noting better than first hand accounts and recommendations.


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 4/13/2011 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Fish,
My husband had his surgery done by Dr. Patel in November, 2009.  At our initial consultation we specifically asked him if he would be doing the surgery.  He assured us that he performs all robotic prostatectomies himself. 
I'll post our email address in our profile so that you can contact us with any additional questions you may have.   We traveled from Vero Beach FL to Celebration, and it was well worth it in our opinion.  Hubby still goes to see Dr. Patel twice a year, but all reports are shared with his local urologist here, who is happy to coordinate his treatments with Dr. Patel.

I use to be a fish
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 4/14/2011 2:47 PM (GMT -6)   
David, thanks for your response. It would be great to speak with anyone who has experience with this surgeon. Fortunately for us, Dr. Patel is only about an hour away - so we aren't traveling from out of state to seek this Dr. out. But from all of the posts I have read so far, it seems the general consensus is to seek out the expert in whatever treatment. If he is an expert surgeon, and is in our area, why not? It's not because of his publicity that we are considering, but really from everyone's advice here to seek out the experts.

Although we really like the urologist in Winter Park, he definitely has not performed near the number that Patel has. I scheduled a consultation with Patel on May 18th and was told by the nurse that he does 7 surgeries a day. He also performs surgery on men who have been treated initially with radiation and so those surgeries take much longer.

Did you say that your sister's friend is an urologist? Would the friend be available to discuss my questions about Patel?
Husband diagnosed with Pca on 3/14/2011. Age 48. 4 out of 12 cores positive. Gleason 6 (3+3). First PSA test ever at age 47: 5.14 (1/4/10);
4.1 after 10 days of antiobiotics (2/1/10); 4.44 at doctors office (2/15/10); 2.26 (5/2010); 5.0 (11/10); 4.8 (1/11). Free PSA range 10-13%.

Reading and deciding on what course of treatment.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 4/14/2011 3:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I will email my sister and try to get an email/phone # for you.

Can you email me from here so that I can email you back?

7 a day seems like a lot.

My surgeon did 5 the day I had mine and he left my hospital room at 9PM to check up on me. Don't see how he could have squeezed two more in.

I was in the same situation as you. My urologist had performed 400 or so and told me the learning curve was 200-250. When I met Dr. Samadi I learned he had done over 3000 and I just felt so much more comfortable putting my life in his hands.

I think it's pretty much universally accepted that the more they have done the better they are. In my opinion you are making the right choice. BUt do make sure that he performs them all himself.

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 4/14/2011 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't get so hung up on these massive numbers of surgeries, some run surgery assembly lines, that bothers me a lot. 7 in one day by one surgeon, that would make me nervous. Wouldn't want to be the last 3 on a paticular day. My surgeon, by choice, never does mroe than 2 major surgeries a day. As an open RP surgeon, he never schedules more than 1 per day. When I had my done, I was his only show that day, and that gave me comfort that I had his full attention, and he allows time for complications.

We have surgeon-member here with PC, and if I remember his post, once you get over 250-500 under your belt, you are at max. skill level, so don't be so smitten with doctors claiming thousands. The real question, how many does the surgeon actually do from start to finish, and how many is he actually supervising. Something to think about.

With surgery, quantity of surgeries is only one aspect, the surgeons actual skill level is another.

David in SC
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 2/11 1.24
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 4/15/2011 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I will email you this evening, my sister has already reached out to her friend.

ps - you might want to delete your email from your post now.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/15/2011 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
 Hello, Fish.
My husband had robotic proststectomy by Dr. Patel at Celebration, FL, in December, 2009. For my husband, according to his surgical report, the assistants prepped the area and inserted the robotic arms; then Dr. Patel took over.  It was quite fortunate that we choose the best (yes, the 4000 were all robotic prostatectomies) because my husband's prostate was 100 gms and had grown a third lobe, damaging the bladder neck and needing reconstruction.  Due to Dr. Patel's extensive experience, he was able to remove the prostate and do all necessary reconstruction in a few hours instead of the 8 hours usually required if open.  This was 2 days before Christmas, but Dr.Patel called me from the operating room himself to keep me informed. The advantage of an established practice is that he has his own floor of the hospital with only his nurses and his patients.  They were very personal and knew their speciality well. I am an RN, and we traveled 2 hours to get who we wanted. My husband is still in the Zero Club, even though his was a Gleason 7 pre-op.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 4/15/2011 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Congrats on the 0 Mom48.

Yeah, it's amazing how well these top notch guys ( Samadi, Patel, Tehwari, Menon ) do. The good thing is that as the years pass, more and more surgeons will reach this volume. There is no doubt in my mind that if possible you want someone who has performed thousands. The more they do the more experience and skill they generate. That much is not always obvious to the newly diagnosed who has chosen surgery but becomes more so with a little time and good advice from family, friends and other medical specialists. I'd say that the same logic is true regardless of treatment chosen.

The guy my sister spoke to studied with Patel and he reiterated the same thing to her. This was very honest of him as he was starting his career and will soon be a surgeon with very few surgeries under his belt.

I hope to stay in the zero club alongside your husband for years to come.

Post Edited (davidg) : 4/15/2011 10:14:59 AM (GMT-6)

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