I'm your man for the answers to your questions. I had open surgery this past August at Hopkins (A. Partin, presiding), travelled via plane. At the outset, travelling for surgical treatment with an "expert" (Scardino is in that category) is a piece of cake. Here's what to expect:
1. Pre-op testing done by local internist.
2. I flew to BWI on a Monday, met with Partin and had other pre-op interviews/testing on Tuesday, had surgery on Wednesday.
3. Discharged Friday, 48 hours after surgery. Checked in hotel for an overnight stay. Departed Saturday morning for flight home. (Take one of those pillows they give you at the hospital and sit on it during the flight home. I stood up in the stern galley once we were at cruising altitude...a little more comfortable position. Also, if you have the means, rather than taking a cab to the airport, order a sedan which is more accommodating.)
4. The following Friday (nine days post surgery) had staples removed by my local urologist. (You can schedule this ahead of time.)
5. Had catheter removed on Monday by local urologist (could have had it removed on the 10th day post surgery but for the fact the 10th day fell on a Saturday, traditionally a day the local urologist's office is closed). By the way, I did not have a cystogram. Not required by my surgeon.
6. I was fortunate and had a negative post-surgery pathology report re margins and nodes and <0.1 PSA three months post-surgery.
7. No reason for follow-up at Hopkins or with local urologist other than what is described above.
8. Next scheduled treatment: November 2007 PSA.
Hope I have answered your questions and relieved some of your anxiety.