Welcome, Doug, very sorry you need to be here, but glad you found us.
You are smart to check all options.
I had open surgery. My surgeon was very experienced with them, and at the time in my area, only 15 robotics had been done. I was in the hospital for 4 1/2 days, which I didn't mind.
Some of the negatives against open aren't always true. In the old days, excessive bleeding was an issue, they banked 2 units of blood for me, and none of it was needed. They claim magnification is better in Robotic, in many ways it is, but with alternative magnification means, my surgeon (whose practice does both now) says that's not an issue. The tactile issue is strongly in favor of open surgery, nothing replaces a skilled doctor's touch on what he is feeling. An RP is a complex operation, robotic or open.
As a general rule, men seem to bounce back quicker with the Robotic, but we have guys here that were in the hospital 48 hrs or less with an open, and a week after robotic. Depends on the patient too, and what other issues are going on, i.e. complications or other medical conditions, or infection.
I have had 8 operations, all related to PC in the past 2 plus years, and I have never been in a rush to get out of the hospital, pain meds can be better administered there, etc. If one has good insurance, I don't consider that much of an issue.
Had I chosen robotics at the time, the op would have had to been switched to open anyhow, as they encountered a deep and narrow prostate bed, than even with open surgery, the surgeon had extreme difficulty finishing. The robotic arms/fingers would have never reached what the doctor couldn't reach with his fingers, etc.
The skill of the surgeon is paramont if your decision is for surgery, not a doubt about that.
Good luck, and please keep us well posted. We care about you.
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,