Da Vinci Popularity

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 4/23/2007 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I was amazed today when I read in the local paper that the major hospital in my town now has a Da Vinci robotic system and a local urologist is performing robotic surgery.  This is a town of 55,000 that is located in North Alabama and is 30 minutes from the third largest town in Alabama that does not have a Da Vinci.  I believe that this is just another indication that the robotic procedure is rapidly replacing the open one as the gold standard for prostate cancer surgery.  The half page ad taken out by the local hospital specifically focused upon the decision to buy the Da Vinci to treat prostate cancer.
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 : 242
   Posted 4/23/2007 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Tamu, That is happening here in OKC too. When ChiOkc told the local doc that he was going to Austin for surgery he said "He had only done 34 at one time too". and Chi said "yeah, but I would rather be his 801, than your 35th". I hope the local docs here keep getting better, but as Chi said, let them practice on someone else. I agree with him. Let them practice on someone who may allready have incontinence issues and where sexual function is not a constant on thier mind. Don't get me wrong, I work with the elderly all day long, and could find a long list of willing people to help them tune their trade while giving the patient longer life. 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! 

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 4/24/2007 5:52 PM (GMT -6)   
A hospital's decision to buy a DaVinci is generally based upon financial reasons. Can the facility utilize the equipment and charge enough fees to generate a profit? That's why hospitals like the one in Alabama resort to marketing (the ad to which Tamu referred) to promote its latest technology. I'm sure the ad did not indicate how many procedures the surgeons on staff had performed or where they trained. That's not important to a hospital that just bought a DaVinci, but it sure would be important to me if I was considering surgery at the facility.

Excellent results can be had with both the open and the Davinci; however, like Courtney alluded to above, the procedure is generally only as good as the presiding surgeon. That's why in my opinion the #1 criteria is selecting the finest surgeon out there as opposed to selecting the open or DaVinci procedure.

Post Edited (SJC) : 4/24/2007 5:01:38 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 4/25/2007 6:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tamu old buddy,
Sort of a funny (coincidental) story. Last Christmas holiday, we were flying to South Florida to visit the in-laws over the school break. Had to change planes in Tampa. We were standing in line ready to board, when I heard these two "suits" standing behind me talking, saying something like "yeah they just put in a robot up in so-and-so hospital, and they are doing a lot of gynecology work with it, too..." So, I turned around and asked, "Excuse me, do you guys represent Intuitive Surgical?" They looked at me like I was a fortune teller, and said yes. One was the national rep and the other was the southern Atlantic rep. I said, well, I just want to thank you as a satisfied customer (I was 4 months post-op then). They were off to close a deal on a robot for some hospital in Boca Raton. We were talking and they were talking about robotic surgery becoming the state-of-the-art in prostatectomy, and perhaps soon in hysterectomy, and cardiothoracic surgery. Of course, what are they going to say? But, they told me that business was good.
dj's stats:
PSA (10/04): 2.9; PSA (2/06):4.4, on Androgel (serum T about 450) at age 56; negative DRE, no symptoms.
PSA (5/06):5.7 with a free PSA% of 8, OFF Androgel (serum T 163). 
Biopsy (5/06): 4/12 samples positive; postitive samples only on right side; max Gleason 4+3=7 (in 2 of the 4 -from area nearest bladder. One was 40% of sample, the others less than a mm. thick.
DaVinci robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy + bladder lift + Right nerve plastic surgery (8/23/06).
Catheter out 4 weeks postop, due to internal pinhole leak at bladder-urethra junction.
Pads-Not needed after about 2 weeks post-cath, but gotta go a lot more often.
Final pathology report:T2c-both sides,but in capsule; neg. margins, neg. lymph nodes, neg. seminal vesicles; final max Gleason still 4+3=7.
1st Follow-up PSA (11/7/06): <0.008 !!!; serum T: 195 - still OFF Androgel (at present). Low T may delay return of erectile function (in presence of one damaged nerve).
2nd Follow-up PSA (3/19/07): <0.003 !!!; serum T: pending
Testosterone Level (3/19/07): 163, down from November 2006!
Uro-Endocrinology Consult (3/28/07): Prescribed Testim gel 1% once a day, and recheck PSA and T-level in a month.

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