My husband is scheduled for DaVinci at the end of May

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/22/2007 9:11 AM (GMT -6)   
We are just starting this journey. My husband was recently diagnosed and we've decided on DaVinci.  I'd love to hear from others who have undergone that treatment.  We are considering our local Physician who has done about 75 procedures, but are wondering if we should be going to the "best"  We're thinking about Mani Menon in Detroit or Ash Tawari in New York.  Any suggestions would be helpful.  I don't have all his data but will get it Monday and post it. He is 52 years old. His PSA was 6.2, Gleason 4+3.  Help! 

Post Edited (leader) : 4/22/2007 8:16:06 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 4/22/2007 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   

Welcome. Glad you're here if you need to be.

I only have one suggestion. If you and hubby are doubting the surgeon he's got then maybe consider another. If he's done 75 robotics then he's done enough to master the procedure. It gets down to whom ever hubby ts comfortable with.

I personally like Savatta and Tewari. Paul (DH) would have given either serious consideration if we didn't already live in the Detroit area where there are several great medical centers to choose from...including Henrey Ford where Menon works. No, his surgeon was not Menon by the way:>) Menon is fine though.
I like Savatta because he's a communicator. I also like what I'm hearing from some of his patients on the Low Blow forum. It just isn't like buying a new car is it? These decisions are tough but your DH will figure out what is best for him...with your help.


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 4/22/2007 11:46 AM (GMT -6)   

Welcome, I just had Da Vinci surgery (9 Apr 07) and it took my doctor only 2 + hours to complete the procedure. I was up and walking around the next day and was released with in 24 hours. I had a catheter in for 10 days and now I'm dealing with what we all have to deal with and thats the leaking. Because of the skill of my surgeon I have had no ED problems and feel this will not be an issue. I have to admit that I didn't research other surgeons before the operation and I may have lucked out. I live in Colorado Springs and you would think that someone of my doctors skill would be working in Denver. When I asked him about how good he was at this he told me he had studied with the surgeopn who pioneered the procedure and he rated only two other surgeons in the country as good as he was. I took this as being cocky but so far he has lived up to the hype he gave himself. The Da Vinci procedure is less invasive and has the potential for less blood loss. The increased magnification and three d view the doctor has makes the procedure very safe.

For me I recommend it and if your doctor has 75 under his belt I'm sure he knows what he's doing. Good luck and if you want any more info please let me know.

Age: 48
Diagnosed: 02/19/07
PSA: 4.5
Gleason: 3+3=6
Surgery: April 09, 2007
Path results: 7% of prostate involved.  Margins clean 3+3=6
catheder to be removed April 19 07.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 4/22/2007 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Leader, sorry you are joining the club. My husband had the da vinci in march. We chose to travel for the procedure and found a great doctor in Austin who had performed over 800. There is only one local doctor that we could find who did the da vinci and he had only done around 30-40. Traveling for the surgery was not as hard as we thought it would be. We flew there the day before, had a consult with doctor, checked into local hotel for night, and arrived at the hospital the next am. Surgery took about an hour and half, and he was up walking that afternoon. We were out of hospital next afternoon, checked into hotel for night and flew home the next day. We wouldn't trade the way we did it for anything. Go with the doctor that you are comfortable with. We didn't meet the doctor until the day before surgery, which is our only regret, but we chose him due to his ability as a surgeon. We lucked out and loved him the minute he walked into the room. Good luck to you and your hubby. And again, sorry you are joining our group, but you will find great advice here. 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 3-14-07 in Austin
Post-Op  Gleason 6, Stage t2c nx mx  YAAAAA HOOOOOO! 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 4/22/2007 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   

I had my Da Vinci on November 1st last year. I looked for a surgeon that had done a lot of the procedures and found my surgeon at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Ask for the surgeon's complications rates. A good one will be able to provide the information. As an example, my surgeon at the time had done over 800 Da Vinci's and is now doing more of them each month then Menon or Tewari. He received his training in the procedure at the same place that Menon and Tewari did which is Memorial Sloan Kettering. His complication rate for incontinence was 92% of his patients achieved full continence in the first year after surgery, 6% still had stress incontinence and 2% were leaking enough to require intervention. Relaitve to impotence 70% achieved normal erections within a year. The other 30% were using some form of intervention.

There are many surgeons around the country that are within a days drive of most locations that have done hundreds of Da Vinci's. My surgeon told me that it took him about 50 to 75 surgeries to feel that he had the technique refined.

In my case I was in surgery for about 4 hours which included the set up time for the robot. Most surgeries are shorter then this but because the my surgeons schedule open up when the surgery before mine was cancelled due to complications he had the whole morning and said that he took his time. This is also a teaching hospital so I suspect that also came into play.

Diagnosed 7/6/06, 1 of 10 core samples, 40%,Stage T1c, Gleason 3+3
Da Vinci on 11/01/06, Catheter out on 11/13/06
56 Years Old
Post Op Path, Gleason 3+3, Approx. 5% of prostate involved
Prostate Confined, margins clear
Undetectable PSA on 12/18/06
No more pads as of 1/13/07
Began injections in April '07

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 4/23/2007 8:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed jan 29th da vinci on april 10th at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Mn.
Dr has done over 600 da vinci's.
2 hours 20 minutes for the procedure.
walking the night of the surgery.
Released 24 hours after surgey.
Catheter in 9 days.
5th day on pads, things are improving, was able to have a few beers yesterday and held fairly well.
Can walk any distance now just not suppose to lift anything over 10 pounds for 3 more weeks.
feel free to email if you have questions
50 years old
gleason 3+4=7 psa5.8 clinical stageT2a
Da vinci surgery April10 2007 Mayo clinic Rochester, Mn.
extraprostatic extension Gleason -same
pelvic lymph nodes -negative
Catheter out April 19

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 4/23/2007 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   

As you will see from my stats many of the them are very simular to yours. I did go for a second opinion from my local urolisit who was prepared to do the open surgey and not spare much of anything in regards to nerves etc, just the way he did it I was told. My second opinion took me to UW Madision to a young doctor that had done both the open and Da Vinci surgery. At the time of my surgery he had completed approximately 80 to 100 Da Vinci procedures and I have been pleased with my results, not that things are the same as before, I still have a little leak every now and then but no major floods at all. I have used 1 pad per day since the beginning. And as for the sexual fuctions I am one of the more lucky ones, I would say I am back to about 90% of where I was before surgery and have not needed any drugs of any kind to help me along. The one thing about it is while the plumbing works my drive is not as high as before but it does get better all the time. So I would say if he has done 75 he has good experience but the most important thing is how do you feel about him and the staff. After meeting with the doctor that preformed my surgery I felt real good about what he told me and explained things, much more so the my first experience. If you have any doubt then I would check for a second opinion, it's what you feel is right in your heart and mind.

Age 49, PSA 6.22 on 9-26-06
Biopsy 11-01-06, 2 of 13 cores 10% cancer, 2 other cores abnormal Up-dated 20% prostate cancerous
Gleason score 3+3=6 After Pathology report 3+4=7 some agressive 5 cells found
Da Vinci surgery 01-09-07 UW Madison
Pathology Report- cancer 100 % capsual contained 1-18-07
Catheter removed 1-18-07 suffered bladder spasms Catheter reattached 1-18-07
Catheter removed 2nd time 1-24-07
1st Post PSA Blood Test 3-22-07 <.01 Undetectable
2nd Post PSA Blood Test Scheduled for 7/5/07
Incontenence 1 Pad a day
ED back to 90-95% prior to surgery - no medication required.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 4/24/2007 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi ~  Leader  &  Loved Ones,


   A   “Special”  Warm Welcome  to  You!   yeah  


We know ~ we can “all” make “Your Journey” smoother just by being here for you! 

This is truly a great forum!!! ~ You have joined!  You are now part our forum family ~ a group of wonderful individuals who are so willing to share...  It helps “all of us” ~ to help you ~ if we know where you are on your path. So ~ Please stay with us and take our hand when you need it! 

Keep posting.... OKAY!!


KNOWLEDGE    IS    POWER  ...  and  POWER conquers  fear



~ and ~

Your decision will be the right decision for you!!!


J  We invite you to visit our personal thread:  Click Here:  “Our Journey” ~ Sharing is Caring 


Our thoughts and prayers will be with you as you continue to move forward with your decision. 

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy


“God Bless You”

It's a little prayer  ~  "God Bless You" ...but it means so much each day,

It means may angels guard you and guide you on your  way.


(Direct Link ~ just click on the title below and a new window will open!  

Reminder … click on the REFRESH icon once you get there)

Helpful Hints ~ & ~ Direct Links to Important Topic Threads ~ Hope this helps you!! :)

mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

J  We invite you to visit our personal thread:  Click Here:  “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 :)

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/23/2007 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks all for you wise advice and guidance.  We are scheduled for next week and feel great about the decision.  So some questions for the caretakers and patients out there.  What advice do you have for me?  What supplies should be on hand. Can someone educate me about the pads? Are we talking depends?  Is there something else we need?  Who on the medical team can tell us?  It's all been so encouraging.  Now, we just want to get there and be done.  Any help would be appreciated.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/23/2007 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   

Dear Leader,

Welcome to Healing Well's PCa Forum.  I am Kitt.  I wish you the very best in your journey and please let me know if you need anything.

Again a warm welcome.



Moderator Prostate Cancer
My Father and his 5 siblings all died of Cancer.
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 5/23/2007 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Leader

Good luck with your surgery.  I'm sure you have read many posts here that will be very helpful.  There was one a week or so ago that listed things you should take with you (or not take with you) to surgery. Maybe someone will "bump" it up.

The talk about pads is after you have had your catheter removed a week or so after surgery.  Normally You usually won't need them for the first week after surgery.  Most doctors recommend "guards for men" or a store generic. This usually give you leak protection after catheter removal.  Full on Depends are not needed unless you have significant continence problems long term.


Biopsy 10/16/06
T2A,  PSA 4.7
Gleason 4+4=8 right side
adrenocarcinoma of prostate
DaVinci Surgery 01/16/07
Post op report,confirms Gleason4+4=8
no extra extension/invasion identified
age 65
Back on the golf course...
90 day PSA  less than 0.01 (undetectable)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 5/23/2007 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi ~ Leader,
Please let us know your "surgery date".... we will be sending extra strength, thoughts, and prayers during this time.  You "will" feel them. tongue
The link below is from your Welcome Letter above... I've pulled the pads thread... I know it will help you...  Buddy tried the Serenity and they didn't bunch up as much in the perineal area... they were more comfortable...
I hope you'll take a few minutes to read over "Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring" by Buddy & Lee link below....  If you pull only 1 thing.... to help your journey move along a little smoother.... it will be a blessing for us.
Keeping you close as you move forward... 
In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

(Direct Link ~ just click on the title below and a new window will open!  

Reminder … click on the REFRESH icon once you get there)

Helpful Hints ~ & ~ Direct Links to Important Topic Threads ~ Hope this helps you!! :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 5/23/2007 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Leader: I had DaVinci done at City of Hope, in Duarte, CA, last January. I am very happy with the results. I live in Las Vegas and could have had it done here, but opted for City of Hope, because at the time, they had done over 2,300 robotic prostatectomies. Yes, robotic is "less invasive" but my doctor cautioned me that it's not so much about invasiveness as accuracy. He very-confidentally stated to me that there is no surgical procedure that offers the imaging resources and precision the DaVinci does.
But remember, although the robotic lapro procedure doesn't leave you with the large incision, the same thing happens to your insides and the internal heaing requires time and patience.
So, don't let your hubby be a hero. Walking is great -- lifting is a no-no. Also, he may be a little loopy from the anesthesia for a couple of weeks -- at least I was. On more than one occassion, my wife answered one of my questions and then told me that I had asked the same question three times in the past two weeks!
After surgery, your husband may be leery about going out and driving or shopping on his own. At times, I would get light-headed for some reason, and didn't want to be alone away from home -- especially alone with my 12-year-old. I was also amazed at how a simple task like having dinner at a friends house or watching one of my son's football games would absolutely exhaust me. I began to wonder if I'd ever feel like my old self again.
But all that is gone now -- Woo-Hoo!! By about week seven, I was my old self again -- a late-bloomer by most standards -- but back in action, thank God.
I suggest men's pads, either Serenity or Depends. The dearest is the cheapest, so avoid the Safeway/Albertson etc. generics. They are much less soft and your husband will appreciate the softness in that area.
Also, get him some old fashioned jockies -- I recommend Fruit of the Loom. He may need the support for his testicles. After surgery, I went right back to my beloved boxers and it was a big mistake -- set me back for a few weeks. I had no swelling or anything but felt like my right nut weighed about 30 pounds -- not fun.
And finally, as far as Kegels go, be sure he knows how to do them properly. Otherwise, he will waste his time and energy. There is a lot of info. buried in this forum on the Kegels. (Bluebird knows what to do)
Best of luck to you. You're both going to be fine. I'm so glad you've chosen a treatment you feel good about. Best to ya!

54 years old

PSA = First ever was 9.8 in late Oct. ‘06, two weeks later, 10.1

DRE: Negative

Biopsy results 11/22/06 (6 out of 8 cores positive), both lobes, Gleason 3+3 = 6

Da Vinci Robotic RP surgery, City of Hope, Jan 12, 2007

Post surgery pathology – Organ confined, Gleason still 6, margins clear.

First post-surgery PSA -- Undetectable, 2/20/07

Mike A
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 5/23/2007 11:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Leader!
Sorry to welcome you here, but most welcome you are. This is a wonderful forum, full of caring people!
As far as preperation goes, have him start his kegels now, don't wait until after surgery. Get as much rest as possible, you'll both need it. Post surgery, the catheter is a royal pain, but necessary. With a little practice he'll find he can get around with it pretty well. As for post-catheter pads, the Serenity for Men pads have been my choice. They are shaped like a baseball player's cup, and hold a lot of liguid. You should pick up a pack (available at Walmart) before the catheter comes out. I never needed the full Depends diaper, although I bought a box. Keep us updated, and take care!
June 2005 - Age 53 PSA 4.8 at regular physical
October 2005 - After several rounds of anti-biotics, PSA 5.2 at Urlogist
November 2005 - Biopsy negative
July 2006 - PSA 5.9 at regular Physical
October 2006 - After several more rounds of anti-biotics PSA 8.1
November 2006 - Second biopsy - Positive
December 2006 - Gleason (3+4=7), Tumor T1c, CT Scan and Bone Scan Negative
January 2007 Robotic Prostatectomy - Tumor confined but larger than thought, only one nerve able to be spared. Margins clear.
February 2007 - Three to four pads a day, no erection with viagara.
March 2007 - Down to two pads a day, had first intercourse with Erecaid pump and bands, otherwise still flat tire.
April 2007 - First Post-Surgical PSA 0.02 and a great relief! Down to one pad a day. Still unable to achive erection without pump. Patience..Patience!!!!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 5/24/2007 11:09 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello leader,

Great choice for the Davinci procedure..

I had mine done April 17th 2007 in Orange, Ca at Saint Joseph Hospital by Brian Norouzi, M.D.

As far as pads go I use Assure ultra thin pads..they are a little wider than the Serenity. They also have the cup contour which goes beneath the scrotum. They are a very aborbent pad and also has odor control.

They can also be found at Walmart for under $10.00 for 52 pads

Hope this helps.
Good luck to you and your husband,
David M.
Age: 52
Male, Hispanic   
PSA 10.2 - Discovered during Annual Physical with Family Doctor
Referred to Urologist Surgeon specialist
Free and total PSA - 10.9
Biopsy ( sent to John Hopkins pathology) - 2 of 16 positive on left and right apex of prostate
Left - GS 3+3=6, Right - GS 3+3=6
Davinci assisted laparoscopy radical prostatectomy on Apr. 17, 2007 -Complications due to extreme unusual size of prostate. Normal Prostate = 20 to 31 grams. Mine = 120 grams (not enlarged, but genetic growth large)
Nerves on right side spared.
All Lab's clear.  No Cancer outside prostate
Cystogram Apr. 24 2007- Slight leakage at anastomosi negligible.
Catheter in for 1 week  Removed Apr. 24, 2007
Second post op office visit on set  for May 30th.

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