Posted 11/25/2006 12:49 PM (GMT -7)
HI Tom,

I watched a video put out by Vanderbilt that showed the DaVinci being done. In it the Dr.'s explained what they thought the benefits were to the procedure. Even if you decide on the open procedure, it gives some helpful information.

husband Jeff 45 years old, diagnosed 8/25/06
PSA 2.1, 2 of 12 samples at 3% & 4%, involving 1 side of prostate
Gleason 3+3=6 in both samples
laparoscopic radical prost. 10/17/06
cancer in both sides of prostate, positive in one area of margin
first PSA in 1/2007

Posted 11/25/2006 10:41 PM (GMT -7)
Hi Tom *Kingsport,   Sending a warm welcome to you and your loved ones….   I personally think if someone took the time to really do a graph on open (RRP) or Lap(robotic)…. Results (blood loss, pain, recovery time, and fewer urinary problems) ~ they would be so similar.     For anyone to say one is better than the other is in my opinion… not something I care to look at.    Each doctor will tell you their method is best!!! And rightfully so ~ but to say one surgery is better than the other…..    If you want open… then find the best surgeon who does RRP, if you want Lap… then find the best surgeon who does Robotics.   Your decision ~ is your decision ~ and it will be the right decision for you.   Buddy & I chose the open (RRP)   as you’ll see in “Our Journey”…. It was the right decision for us!!     Our thoughts and prayers will be with you as you take the next step.   Please stay with us as you traverse the stepping-stones to be cancer free.   This journey is best traveled with friends…..   In New Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy   Sharing ~ Our Personal Threads with new members:   updated   11-17 If you or your loved ones ~   pull “1” thing from our journey that helps you on your journey…… it will truly make our hearts happy!!!   Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring, A Special Note for Loved Ones (Wives, Partners, & Caregivers) , Give Yourself a Second Opinion, and Murphy ~ Our Special Helper. To quickest way to find them   is to change the way you look for Threads…   I have mine set at Last Comment.   If you go in and change it to Started By and look for Bluebird (pages 4 & 5 as of Nov-10 ‘06) …. You will find them a lot easier!   mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… 53 on surgery day RRP April 3, 2006   PSA 4.6 Gleason  3+3=6  T2a   Confined to Prostate June 29th PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable
Posted 11/27/2006 11:19 AM (GMT -7)


The choice is about as basic a form of individual opinion as it gets. Bottom line for me is that I need to feel comfortable with the surgeon and feel good about his experience once I've made the decision to go the surgical route. I have always been a person who embraces new things so the robotic procedure seemed the best route for me....... but that's me. I live in Miami, there are dozens of robotic machines within a relatively short drive. My insurance, while allowing me a great deal of latitude with doctors and hospitals, punishes someone going out of network. Anything done out of the state of Florida is out-of-network. The difference in out-of-of-pocket expense makes going to other parts of the country prohobitive..... not to mention I personally would not want to be isolated from family and friends while having major surgery done. In my case, one of the surgeons scheduled my procedure for early FEBRUARY! I took the date and kept hunting.

My robotic procedure is scheduled for December 12th at the University of Miami School of Medicine at Jackson Memorial. The have two DaVinci's at this hospital and my surgeon is supposed to be an ace with over a thousand procedures..... oh, and I like him as well.

Good luck in the future........


  • 56 year old male, divorced
  • Diagnosed: 10/12/06
  • Two of twelve samples contained malignent cells, Gleasons: 3+3=6, 3+4=7
  • Last PSA as of 11/5/06: 2.3
  • Scheduled a DaVinci Robotic procedure for Feb 6th
  • In control, but partially terrified about the future
  • Click (or paste) this link to watch the DaVinci Procedure:

Posted 11/27/2006 3:59 PM (GMT -7)
Hi Tom,

There's not a lot i can add to what these folks have said....they all know their stuff, and it is a tough decision for you. The idea of laparoscopic appealed to me because of the recovery time from the incision alone. I'm not sure if Chattanooga is closer to you than Nashville, but if you decide on the DaVinci, you might want to check out Dr. Patrick Foley. Parkridge Hospital's nurses leave a lot to be desired, but i was only there one night. Recovery time has been awesome....i'm almost fully recovered 11 days afterward. I'm taking it slow and walking every day. I have 5 small incisions that are a nonfactor at this point. Some soreness where the drainage tube was, and soreness from the catheter, but i'm losing that fast. We wish you the best in your decision.


Dennis and Sara
41 years old
6.7 PSA
3+3=6 Gleason
Pre-op Stage T1c
7/12 Positive Samples in Biopsy
RLP on 11/16/2006
Cancer confined to prostate

Posted 11/28/2006 7:02 AM (GMT -7)
I had open surgury 3 1/2 years ago when there was no other choice so I didn't have to make that decision. But as for traveling, I live in South Florida in what I think is the Urologist Capital of the world with all the senior citizens we have here. I fired 3 Uroligists because I didn't like what they were saying. With some research and after hearing that Joe Tore, Rudy Juliani, and John Kerry all had recently chose Johns Hopkins in Maryland for their surguries, I made up my mind that that was where I was going. After a extended battle with the insurance co. which the hospital helped me with, I travelled over 1,000 miles to have it done there. So I guess what I'm saying is "Go with your heart" and you will make the right decision!!
Good luck my Freind!!
53 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg.  

Posted 11/28/2006 4:50 PM (GMT -7)
My husband, Billy, has an appointment at John Hopkins for a second opinion. When you have a consultation is it with a group of doctors or just one. Is there one doctor that anyone on this board has been to and really liked? Everything I have read and people we have talked with emphasizes how important the surgeon is but also that he needs to listen to you and you feel comfortable with him. Any suggestions?
Posted 12/8/2006 10:01 PM (GMT -7)

Hi all..... Not to be a stickler about details, and not that it makes any substantial difference, but as I understand it, Rudy Giulianni did not have the surgery. He had radiation therapy in New York....... just to keep the record straight.


  • 56 year old male, divorced
  • Diagnosed: 10/12/06
  • Two of twelve samples contained malignent cells, Gleasons: 3+3=6, 3+4=7
  • Last PSA as of 11/5/06: 2.3
  • Scheduled a DaVinci Robotic procedure for Feb 6th
  • In control, but partially terrified about the future
  • Click (or paste) this link to watch the DaVinci Procedure:

Posted 12/26/2006 5:31 PM (GMT -7)
Hi Tom ~   Just checking in on you!     It’s been over a month since we’ve heard from you! Touch base when you have a few minutes.   We would like to travel with you on your journey.        Buddy and I hope you’ve had a chance to visit our Thread: “Our Journey” We chose Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy   Excerpt from “Our Journey”… (C) We had already made our decision before the Consultation Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy…..Lift the Hood …We wanted Dr. Staley to visually see and feel the tissue and take out all surrounding tissue that may be hiding… cancer cells.       Excerpt from “Our Journey”… KNOWLEDGE IS POWER... and POWER conquers FEAR!!!!! We decided to share “ Our Journey” in hopes of helping at least 1 person!   If it helps more….   If it helps you!!!! That will truly be a blessing …   At no time are we writing to tell you what you must do, or what you should do….                                Your decision is Your Decision!! Just giving you a view of what decisions we made, what the process was for us, and the outcome as of this date.     Take care and know our thoughts and prayers are with you. In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision" PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate   June 29th ~ PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable
Posted 12/27/2006 6:55 AM (GMT -7)
Thanks for the inquiry bluebird.  I've been reading routinely most of the posts here & benefiting a lot.  What a great service!  My news is that I'm scheduled for robo-laparascopic surgery at Vanderbilt -- about 5 hrs. away -- on March 7.  I'm reserving the right to change my mind before then & get the retro-pubic done locally by my much experienced urologist. It's settling to have a date of any kind, though.  Again, thanks for asking. ~ Tom

Diagnosed early Nov. '06
55 years-old
PSA 6.5 & Gleason 6 (~ 10% of right lobe)


Posted 12/27/2006 8:27 AM (GMT -7)

I see that you have scheduled a Da Vinci at Vanderbilt. I assume that Dr. Smith is who you have scheduled it with. He did my Da Vinci on November 1st. If you have any specific questions about Vanderbilt or Dr. Smith let me know. The surgical experience was excellent.

Diagnosed 7/6/06
1 of 10 core samples, 40%
Stage T1c, Gleason 3+3
Da Vinci on 11/01/06
56 Years Old
Post Op Path
Gleason 3+3
Approx. 5% of prostate involved
Prostate Confined, margins clear
Undetectable PSA on 12/18/06

Posted 12/27/2006 9:23 PM (GMT -7)
J Good news ~ Tom….   Good move in going ahead and scheduling….   It’s your decision and this gives you a window of “decision making”…   Your decision will be the right decision!!   Keep us posted okay…. we need you to touch base once in a while… You are part of our family now and we get a little anxious when we don’t here anything.   Even just a “Hi!” lets us know you’re doing okay.   Take care, In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision" PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate   June 29th ~ PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable Post Edited (bluebird) : 1/2/2007 5:33:59 PM (GMT-7)
Posted 1/2/2007 4:19 PM (GMT -7)
To SJC and B & C : I have an appointment at John Hopkins in January with DR. Su . Have you or anyone used him He is suppose to be top in Robotic surgery. Barister
Posted 3/6/2007 8:24 PM (GMT -7)
Kingsport signature line: Diagnosed early Nov. '06; scheduled for da Vinci @ Vanderbilt 3/7/07 55 years-old PSA 6.5 & Gleason 6 = 3+3(?) (~ 10% of right lobe)   Hi ~ Tom,   Just a little hug to let you know we will be there ~ in thoughts and prayers as you head into surgery…   Please touch base as soon as you feel up to it. Hopefully ~ you will update us as to how your journey's gone over the past few months as you did your research and made your decision.   In Friendship,   ~~~~~~~~~~~#$%^&*     Group Hug %^&*(%~~~~~~~~~~~~ From the 3 of us... Lee, Buddy, & Murphy   mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina Link to our personal journey…>>>      Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring   April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision" PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate 2nd PSA 02-06-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)
Posted 3/7/2007 6:17 PM (GMT -7)
Kingsport, If you had surgery today, I hope that all went very well. We too opted to travel for the robotic. We leave next tuesday and surgery a week from today. We are also traveling around the same distance, 6 hours, but have opted to fly. Good luck to you and will be watching for a reply with hopefully great news!! Courtney
Kurt & Courtney
47 year old
Great Health prior to dx
Dx on 1/29/07
PSA 4.1
Gleason 3+3=6, both lobes
Stage T2c, I believe
Tumor involves 20% of cores, both lobes
Live in OK
Da Vinci scheduled 3-15-07 in Austin

Posted 6/28/2007 8:51 PM (GMT -7)
Helping to keep this journey together…..   (direct link ~ just click on the title!   Reminder to click on the REFRESH icon once there) Vagaling-out during surgery       Surgery re-scheduled ...... see new post!
Posted 7/5/2007 2:01 PM (GMT -7)

I can not really see much advantage in Da Vinci.

I had open operation a couple of months ago and the problem post operation is urinary incontinence. This is result of damage to pelvic floor muscles and veins surrounding the prostrate.

The Da Vinci saves damage to muscles and tissue in the abdomen but it does nothing to save the pelvic floor or veins in the prosterate.

It is much more difficult for a surgeon to make a good job using Da Vinci and if there is accidental cutting of a vein it is much more difficult to control bleeding. 

Most important the surgeon can not feel any texture though the Da Vinci instruments. In my case the surgeons could feel the lymph glands and ascertain there was no trouble there, They can not do that in Da Vinci.

No doubt Da Vinci saves damage to abdomen, but this never causes a problem in open RRP; just read thes blogs and you will see no one ever has trouble with their abdomenal incision.

As said in many other blogs above your best bet is to find a surgeon who does many RRP at least two per week.

I hope all goes well




Open RRP 29 April 07
Gleason 6

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