Open vs. Robotic

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

eb4710
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/13/2007 11:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello!
 
My father was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, and is greatly struggling with the decision between the open vs. robotic prostatectectomy.  To tell you about him, he is 63 years old, has a PSA of 5.8, a Gleason score of 6 (for small cores, a 7), and a small prostate because he was taking finasteride for many years.
 
For the robotic:
1) are positive surgical margins better?
2) is there less incontinence?
3) is there better preservation of nerves?
 
If anyone has any comments on their experience as to these issues, it would be greatly appreciated! 
 
Thank you!
A concerned daughter
 

kdnole
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 6/13/2007 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey eb,
I'm having my surgery July 31st but everything I and my wife researched with my needs I'm going for Robotic. We are fortunate to have a great Dr. at Duke only 20 minutes from where we live and I've heard nothing but good things about the DiVinci surgery. I have a neighbor who's 47 and had the Robotic surgery and he has full continence and they saved the nerves. I'm looking forward to a quick recovery from surgery with less pain.
Age 44
PSA 4.8
Gleason 3+3=6
T2
Da Vinci scheduled 7/31/07 @ Duke
 


broker59
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 6/13/2007 12:50 PM (GMT -7)   
nono  EB4710
 
With 2 daughters of my own, who I love more than life itself, I can tell you that things will be FINE!!!
Your Dad's numbers are good, and he is catching it early, so take comfort in the REAL fact that there is MUCH good treatment for our cancer.
My surgeon is about 52, and has done over 2000 open RP's. He feels that the human touch, being able to feel around with his own hands is a BIG plus. The Robotics is a lot less invasive, and in the hands of a skilled surgeon a great solution.  I am in the Philadelphia area and there are 2 excellent robotic surgeons I could have seen, but the wait was to long.  It really comes down to the surgeon, get all the info you can on your Dad's Doctor on his track record, and number of operations.  Thios is not a time to worry about any bodies feeling but you father's.
 
Good wishes are on the way, a daughter's love is beyond words.  HE WILL BE FINE!! Let us know how the bone scan, MRI, or Ct scan turn out.  Less than 10% die from PC, a lot of comfort in those numbers.
Broker 59


Date of Dx 3/20/07

PSA: 2.5

Gleeson: 3+4

Stage: T2

Bone Scan Clean

Date of Surgery: 6/21/07
 
Open Surgery.


spinbiscuit
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 6/13/2007 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello eb4710

 

I'm sorry that your dad has to face this problem, but he's lucky to have you helping him. First it would be better to have negative margines regardless of the procedure you are considering. Next incontenence is a case by case issue, and not so much related to the type of procedure. Third is dependant again on the difficulty the surgeon has removing the prostate and any suspect tissue around the prostate.

All the different types of procedures will yield excellent results so the most important factor becomes the experience of the surgeon (how many operations has he/she performed) for example: the DaVinci procedure is fast becoming the "Gold Standard" for PCa, but not many surgeons have had time to do a large number of these high-tech procedures. A skilled doctor using the "open Technique" with a thousand+ surgeries would be a better choice. If you are in or can travel to a big city you'll have no difficulty finding an experienced surgeon in the DaVinci procedure. There are of coarse some in mid-size cities as well.

The last thing to consider is: "Do I have confidence in this surgeon?" That will come from your face to face interview. If he/she can answer all your questions, and you feel good about them; you have probably found the right doctor. Your Dad deserves the most skilled and concerned doctor you can find.

I wish you and your Dad the very best in your search for the right surgeon. Please ask any questions that come to mind. We'll be here for you both. 

Glen

 

 


Diagnosed at age 60
PSA went from 2.2 to 3.8 in 14 months
2 of 14 cores positive at 10%
Gleason 6(3+3), negative DRE, neg. boundaries
DaVinci surgery on 02/23/06
 


ldoun
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 6/13/2007 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
eb4710,

You might check some very good Robotic RP videos that Dr Tewari (Cornell/NY Presbyterian) posted on youtube. It is done in 6 parts and should be viewed in order. The videos are a combination of actual video of the operation and animation, plus explanation, etc. To find them go to youtube and search for "prostatectomy tewari". Be sure to view them in proper order.

Dr Tewari was trained at Henry Ford but practices several new techniques that some other doctors don't do. Such as bladder neck suspension to help in continence. He demonstrates his nerve sparing procedure. The video is an excellent educational source of information before talking to surgeons about Robotic RP.

Experience is an important factor for any surgeon, open or robotic.

Jim
Age 64
5'6" 145#
PSA pre-op 5.2 (12% free)
Gleason 3+4=7
Robotic RP 4/24/07 Dr. Albala, Duke
Post-op- Organ confined Gleason 7


mvesr
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 6/13/2007 4:45 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear eb4710.   Sorry you have to be here, but it is a place where people care and will help you and your dad get through it.  I was 54 when I was diagnosed with PC and had open surgery May 30.  Got my cath and staples out yesterday.  I also cannot say enough good about the Duke Hospital.  My friend had Dr. Albala do his robotic surgery and he steered me there too.  I had Dr. Moul do an open procedure on me because I was not a candidate for robotic.  It is the skill and experience of the surgeon that is important.  If you are close enough to go to Duke your father will not regret it.Make you decision and don't look back.  My pain with the open procedure was basically none after the first day in the hospital.  Feel really good now second day without the catheter.

God bless you and your dad.  Be thankful you still have him to talk to.  I really miss my dad.

 

Mika


survivor_wannabee
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 6/14/2007 6:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear eb4710, I was diagnosed the normal way with a local urologist in a suburb of PA. This guy I found out later has a very good reputation in the Philly area. His initial recommendation was open saying that there were no long time clinical trials available to prove that robotic was as effective as open because it hasn't been around long enough. I told him that I was convinced through my research that robotic was the way to go and in seeing that I was pretty well set, he agreed to support me, but said that I should defer my decision until all the tests were done. I concurred and scheduled the myriad of tests required that took 2 weeds to complete. My urologist did say that he had received DaVinci training and had assisted on one, but felt that the precision improvement did not outweigh the ability to feel your way through an open surgery.

At any rate, while I did my tests, he got involved in a few more robotic procedures and by the time I came back for the final consult, he looked at my test results and being obviously pleased with what he saw immediately recommended me for DaVinci. He started to describe his reasoning, but I cut him short saying that he had me at hello. He did say though that all surgeons recommend what they are familiar with and its hard to get an objective view. My impression is that in doing enough robotic procedures, he had a major change of heart. He immediately scheduled me with one of the best surgeons in the city that only does robotic and he did a fantastic job. I was only in the hospital for a day and had the catheter out in 10 days only because that's his scheduled day for catheter removals.

All of that being said, I have met lots of survivors that have had open and they are perfectly fine. What I have learned is that the expertise of the surgeon is more important than the procedure (at least comparing these two options). I opted for the robotic on the main because I have blood clot issues and needed to get off and on blood thinners as soon as possible. That made it easy, but in hindsight I would choose robotic again regardless. Hope this helps. Good luck!
Age: 57
Diagnosed: 3/27/2007
PSA: 4.9
Gleason: 3 + 4
Cancer in 6 out of 12 samples
DRE: Positive
Stage: T2B
RALP Performed: 5/29/07
Partial nerve sparing one side, full on other
Prostate not enlarged, margins visually look good
Hospital stay: about 24 hours
Catheter Out: 6/8/07


broker59
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 6/14/2007 6:51 AM (GMT -7)   
nono  Survivor_wannabee
 
Glad to hear all went well.  Your numbers are similiar to mine, hope I have the same good results.  Tried to go the Robo route but Dr. Lee, & McGinnus are scheduling too far out.  Alsi in the Philly suburbs, so a big;" HOW U DOIN?" comming at you! 1 week and counting!!!
Broker 59


Date of Dx 3/20/07

PSA: 2.5

Gleeson: 3+4

Stage: T2

Bone Scan Clean

Date of Surgery: 6/21/07
 
Open Surgery.


survivor_wannabee
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 6/14/2007 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Broker 59, that's really interesting. Sounds like you went down the same path I did. I found that Dr. Lee and McGuiness couldn't even give me an initial consult until the middle of June, back in April. Many sources pointed me to these two. My urologist in West Chester though after he got around to believing that robotic was what I wanted got me into a consult in two days with Dr. Costas Lallas at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Lallas like Lee and McGuiness only does robotic and has done a ton of these procedures. He is like McGuiness though, doing only 2 a day twice a week vs. Lee who when he is in does more in less time. Either he is really good or does things too quickly. Lallas was awesome and very easy to talk to during all phases. I found out in my initial consult with Lallas that my guy in West Chester had some hand in placing a colleague out into his practice, so maybe that helped. You can see that I was diagnosed after you, but got robotic done prior to your open. I owe my local urologist, big time.

I am really doing well. I feel great and am getting a grip on continence. Did Kegels a month ahead of surgery which I think might have helped. I have met a bunch of guys in the area though who had open and are really doing well. If you took the time to discover McGuiness and Lee, you must have done your homework on a good open guy/gal. I wish you the best of luck with your journey. Keep us posted.
Age: 57
Diagnosed: 3/27/2007
PSA: 4.9
Gleason: 3 + 4
Cancer in 6 out of 12 samples
DRE: Positive
Stage: T2B
RALP Performed: 5/29/07
Partial nerve sparing one side, full on other
Prostate not enlarged, margins visually look good
Hospital stay: about 24 hours
Catheter Out: 6/8/07


broker59
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 6/14/2007 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   

Survivor

I live right outside of West Chester in East Goshen township.  May be looking for a Uro closer than mine in Bryn Mawr. Will keep you posted, Take care yourself!  Doing kegels at every commercial. yeah


Broker 59


Date of Dx 3/20/07

PSA: 2.5

Gleeson: 3+4

Stage: T2

Bone Scan Clean

Date of Surgery: 6/21/07
 
Open Surgery.


aviator
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 6/14/2007 8:49 AM (GMT -7)   

 I elected the open procedure based on (1) I could handle a little extra pain, so that wasn't a big factor, (2)  I would have to travel to get the DaVinci done somewhere, (3) I had no way of knowing the experience level of the surgeon "elsewhere", (4) the robotic surgery time is longer, possibly with more blood loss and (5)  I really am not convinced that the [b]long term[/b] results are any better with the robot.

FWIW, I awoke with no pain, did not require any narcotic medication any time post op, left the hospital the next day, had the catheter out in 7 days, and have had absolutely no problems with incontinence.  I'm working on the ED part, but get what my wife calls a "soft on" already at this point (2 weeks).  Everyone's individual experience is different, of course, which is what makes this such a hard topic to fully comprehend.


Post Edited (aviator) : 6/14/2007 1:53:30 PM (GMT-6)


broker59
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 6/14/2007 9:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Aviator
 
You really had a smoothe ride.  I am in otherwise very good health .  Up until my knee surgery (not replacement) I walked at leat 45 minutes 5/6 times a weeks, weight is only about 12 lbs. over, good muscle tone, so I am optimistic I will have little difficulty with recovery.  It's the waiting that is bothering me.  As I have posted before my surgeon is from the old school who takes out any potential problem, and really "Feels Around in there". CT scan 4 weeks ago was all negative throughout the body, so I am hoping for NO LEAKS!! yeah
 
Broker 59


Date of Dx 3/20/07

PSA: 2.5

Gleeson: 3+4

Stage: T2

Bone Scan Clean

Date of Surgery: 6/21/07
 
Open Surgery.


survivor_wannabee
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 6/14/2007 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Broker 59, my local urologist is Dr. Donald Anderson, whose practice is out of West Chester right near the hospital. He is a really great guy. I live up above the Turnpike above Eagle off Route 100. I got referred to McGuinness by one of daughter's friend's father, who had robotic out of Bryn Mawr. He raved about the urology practice down there, but I agree with you. Its no fun driving down Route 30 or 202 to Schuylkill and then back roads. West Chester is a better bet for you and Anderson is a great open surgeon, soon to be great robotic per Lallas.

Aviator, I agree with you on all counts except 4]. The surgery might take a bit longer, but its not like you have any clue as you are out. I opted for robotic mainly because it is virtually bloodless and I have had clots in the past. They didn't even take any of my blood prior to the operation which I understand is standard practice for many hospitals for open. A buddy of mine used 3 pints of blood during his open, but that was several years ago. Again, whether it is open or robotic, if you get a great surgeon that has done many of these procedures, you are probably going to be OK either way. I kind of liked getting out of the hospital in just a little over 24 hours though. Gotta admit though that getting the catheter out in 7 days would have been nice and absolutely no incontinence issues is way more than admirable. Congratulations!
Age: 57
Diagnosed: 3/27/2007
PSA: 4.9
Gleason: 3 + 4
Cancer in 6 out of 12 samples
DRE: Positive
Stage: T2B
RALP Performed: 5/29/07
Partial nerve sparing one side, full on other
Prostate not enlarged, margins visually look good
Hospital stay: about 24 hours
Catheter Out: 6/8/07


aviator
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 6/14/2007 2:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Survivor-wannabee, you and I have really quite parallel pathways, including surgery on the same calendar day (5/29/07).  I did ammend my earlier post to indicate that I also left the hospital on the first post op day, after open surgery.  The Gleason score, the staging, the single nerve sparing and the PSA are for all practical purposes the same for both of us.  (I'm three years older than you, with slightly lower PSA)  All of that information is of course basically useless, except that for anyone looking at robotic vs. open, they should realize that the course can be the same.  We do have a tendency to rely on anectdotal experiences, which can be misleading.
 
BTW, my urologist also indicated to me that my anatomy made the procedure a little easier than usual, which is probably why it's been an easier recovery.  In the recovery room he was quite openly pleased with the anastamosis part, which is a critical factor in the continence issue as I understand it.

naimnut
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 6/15/2007 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   

Why I chose robotic:

1. My urologist, who has performed over 3,000 open surgeries, said that he could not guarantee nerve sparing, due the comparitively smaller size of my prostate (which I have learned is fairly common among men in my age group).

2. I watched a video of an actual surgery broadcast live on the internet. Very impressive. 

3.  Part of the reason for the large incision with the open is simply the size of the human hand. How else can they get in there?  BTW, I think the reason that many non-robotic surgeons talk about how they rely on their ablility to "feel" the cancer is because they cannot see the surgical site because it is surrounded with and covered by blood.  Think of how slippery things are with your hand in a latex glove, covered with blood, holding onto a scalpel!

4. With robotic, the surgeon has a magnified, clear, bloodless view of the surgical site. The  motions of the scalpel and paddles are extremely refined and allow for superb control.  Consider that I got my catheter out in 4 (yes, 4!!) days. The anastomosis was sealed and solid and my surgeon has had enough experience (1700+ robotic surgeries) to know that his patients are typically physically well enough to have the catheter out in 4 days.

5. In my particular case he mentioned that the nerve on the right hand side was difficult to free up.  He suspected that this might be due to the location of one or more of the biopsy cores causing an adhesion.  He uses a so-called retrograde nerver sparing approach. But, he took his time and was able to spare the nerve.  Would a traditional surgeon have been able to do this?  I don't know.

Where I live, the DaVinci is rapidly becoming THE way.  Barnes Jewish Hospital just now, this year, has finally ordered a davinci robot.  The other local center has had theirs for about 2 or 3 years.

Ohio State, where I went for my surgery, started out with two robots about 4 years ago and has now ordered another two.

As my surgeons said, during our follow-up telecon the other night, after hearing about my excellent healing and progress on the incontinence front, "All the other guys I operated on the same day as you are doing equally well.  We feel we've got most of the bugs worked out of this surgery now."

For me, no question  which is better.  I hope you can track down an experienced robotic surgeon for your father.
 
Good luck with your father's treatment, whichever method he eventually chooses.
 



Age, 53
PSA 3.76, Gleason 6, T1c, scans negative
psa doubling time 35 months
Da vinci robotic scheduled for Thursday, May 31


Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 6/15/2007 10:33 AM (GMT -7)   
:-)   :-) Choose the artist, not the brush. A man who has done 500 opens will paint a prettier picture than a man who has done but 20 robotic assisted procedures...at least in theory it works that way.
 
No Physician is perfect but, there are those who outshine the rest. Being a practiced Doc shopper, we ask to whom would our own Doc's would go for his/her own surgeon, oncologist, endo or whatever. This has always been reliable. We've walked away from well established Physician's, usually over an ethical issue not related to treatment but other than that, finding a Doc's Doc has always worked well in our favor.
 
swim
 


biker90
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1463
   Posted 6/15/2007 11:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Eb,

As soon as I was diagnosed I asked my family doc (not the urologist) who he would go to if he had PCa. His immediate answer was "Dr. W, but he only does open surgeries." So Dr. W it was and at our meeting he showed real confidence and answered all our questions. I was in the hospital for 45 hours and had the catheter out after 6 days. I could immediately hold my pee and threw the pads away the next day.

You can find good and bad stories with any treatment. Like Swim said, pick the artiest not the brush. Make a decision and don't look back...

Jim
Age 72. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2B Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Pathological stage: T2B. Gleason 3+4. Cancer confined to prostate.
PSA on 1/3/07 - 0.04. 
PSA on 4/4/07 - 0.00  T level - 48  Restarted T therapy.
Next PSA on 7/18/07.
 
 "I have cancer but cancer does not have me."


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 6/16/2007 6:50 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi ~ Concerned Daughter,

I’m listing a few threads below…. You may have found them…. And then again  ~ maybe not!!! 

Hope this helps you!

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

 

«  bluebird ~  Moderator for Prostate Cancer Forum

 

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

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

open (prepubic) vs. Laparoscopic (robotic) Prostatectomy  started by: Kingsport 20 replies

Robotic vs open  started by: Bob 116 20 replies

Robotics or open???? Started by: HB 14 replies

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Monday, December 11, 2017 12:53 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,903,873 posts in 318,693 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 158103 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, NonI of two.
193 Guest(s), 3 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
The Dude Abides, testuser1234, NotQuiteAntonio