Going to meet the surgeon

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 12/2/2006 2:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,
I have been reading all of the postings daily to get up to date information and everyone is a very big help.  My wife and I are going on Tuesday (Dec 5th) to meet with the robotic surgeon at the VA med center in San Francisco and I am not sure if I will ask him all of the right questions that I need to make an intelligent decision.  I am strongly leaning toward the robotic surgery to make sure I get rid of all cancer and I understand that while the surgery may have more problems now than the seeds, surgery gives me a better chance of less problems 5 ro 10 years frm now.  I am a very healthy 66 and planning on living another 30 years so I am very interested in the long term problems.
Please let me know what things I should be looking for or questions to ask.  I understand this VA hospital is connected to the UC Med Center in SF and Berkeley and they do a lot fo the Prostate work on the West Coast and they tell me they have very high ratings, whatever that means.  I ha vechecked out the doctors on their web site and they all seem very experienced and so far everyone there has been very helpful.
I would appreciate any additional information you all could give me.  I am hoping to schedule the surgery for the week between Christmas & New Years (so I can watch all of the football games that week while I recover) or at the latest for the first week of Jan.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 12/2/2006 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   

Here are questions that I would suggest asking.

What are your complication rates for incontinence and impotence?

How many procedures have you done?

Are you up to date on the latest nerve sparing and bladder neck reconstruction techniques?

How long after surgery do your patients average in achieving continence and potency?

Do you have a penile rehabilitation program?

Walk me through the day of surgery so I know what to expect.

Tell me about the Foley catheter and how long it will stay in.

Tell me how you will treat bladder spasms.

According to the Partin Tables what are my chances that the cancer is confined to the prostate?

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

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 12/2/2006 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Awesome questions, Tamu. Make sure you ask those, Motelmat. I think what swayed Sara and i toward my surgeon was talking to him one on one for a while. We had confidence in him from that, and the way he'd handled my case up to that point. He's a straight shooter, and though he didn't have a thousand of the robotic surgeries under his belt, he'd done enough so that Sara and i had the utmost in confidence in him. Sometimes you just have a feeling about someone, ya know? Sara is awesome at that. lol

Make sure he'll attempt to spare both nerve bundles and that he'll do biopsies during surgery to ensure he's getting it all, especially your lymph nodes.

May God bless you and be with you,

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 12/3/2006 3:09 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks Tamu and IlySara,

I appreciate the responses and now I have some good questions to ask and will let you know how it goes after the meeting on Tuesday.


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