Posted 3/10/2007 8:48 AM (GMT -7)
I did a lot of research after my husband, age 51, was diagnosed on Dec 5, 06 (Gleason 3+3, T1C, PSA 4.3). His diagnosis was purely PSA driven, and his biopsy showed less than 10% of cells, 4 out of 12 core samples, one side of the prostate only. It became obvious that the robot assisted laparoscopic, nerve sparing proceedure was our treatment of choice and I called the Henry Ford Center for a recommendation on a California surgeon. My extensive research had led me to believe that the "Veil of Aphrodite" was only a trademark for nerve sparing surgery by Dr. Menon, and I took the percentages of regained potency quoted by this and various other doctors with a grain of salt. There hasn't been enough time since robot assist, laparoscopic, nerve sparing surgery has been used to gather definitive statistics, in my opinion. I don't know where you reside, but I can tell you that we went to Dr. Ahlering at UC Irvine, where the Da Vinci machines were developed. By the way, Henry Ford could not recommend a surgeon, but the person there did reiterate that UCI developed the machines they use. My husband had the surgery on Feb 27, 2007 and had the catheter removed on Mar 6. He had immediate, full continence and (surprisingly) immediate and regular tumescence. Still too sore to attempt intercourse, as he also had two hernias that the doctor repaired, he has already had an erection strong enough for it. He appears to be in the 30%-50% of men who gain immediate function. Dr. Ahlering prescribes Viagra (1/4 pill 25mg) per night starting the night after surgery. He also recommends that one continues to take it even if erections are achieved. Both my husband and I feel that doing everything one can do is important. On that note, we ate a 60% vegan diet (still had fish and eggs sometimes), went to a support group and tried something that no one has mentioned yet in any venue: Reiki. This kind of healing seemed to energize the whole pelvic area as well as create a regular meditation that was most positive, relaxing and fear-relieving. His last PSA before surgery was down to 3.9. One last note, the pathology showed cancer in both lobes, with Gleason still at 3+3, negative margins. We are glad we didn't wait, although we had considered it. Removal while still contained and while the prostate is not too enlarged is optimum. One last thing, diagnosis in younger men is on the rise, thanks to PSA. I looked specifically for cases and personal postings that my husband could relate to at his age. I hope this helps. Best wishes to you!