My surgeon was Dr. Joseph Smith at Vanderbilt University Medical Clinic. I looked locally and the surgeons had done 200 - 300 DaVinci's. Dr. Smith had done over 3000
open surgeries before going to DaVinci and had since done over 5000 DaVinci's. I thought the 3 hour drive to Nashville was well worth it.
On the point of how many are needed to be a quality surgeon, that is hard to pin down. I do know that 200-300 did not make me feel good. I did not want my surgeon to go in there and say "Hmmmm I have never seen this variation before".
Also, Dr. Smith had a young female assisting him in the surgery. He introduced her before they rolled me into surgery. I would venture to guess that after that surgery they BOTH took credit for doing the surgery. Thus possibly the first 200 or so are actually surgeries where they "assist" a far more experienced doctor. Thus the patient gets quality care while the less experienced surgeon gets experience. Just my $0.02.
Current Age 58, Age 55 at DX, PSA = 4.97 on 11/17/09, DRE negative,
1 of 12 cores positive with less than 5% volume,Gleason 3 + 3 = 6,
RALP performed on 4/7/10 at Vanderbilt University MC with Dr. Joseph Smith
Final Pathology on removed prostate:
Prostatic Adenocarcinoma present bilaterally
from apex to base and extending to inked margin at right apex.Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, stage pT2c
Prostate Size = 59 grams, Tumor 5% of total prostate volume.
SV negative, EPE negative, PNI present. Lymph nodes - not checked
05/24/10,11/29/10,06/27/11,01/03/12,06/12/12 all test PSA < 0.10 (undetectable)
02/26/13 PSA = 0.10 (hmmmm)