I faced the same choice this year. For me, the more I researched it, the less it became a choice and I was convinced that robotic was the way for me to go.
There are more and more experienced da vinci surgeons around. I decided to focus on the most experienced I could find, which boiled down to two who are up above 1500 procedures. Dr. Mani Menon, at Henry Ford, in Detroit may be above 2000 procedures. His claimed recovery statistics are impressive. I chose Dr. Vipul Patel, at James Cancer center in Columbus, Ohio. I think he is now over 1700 surgeries. He impressed me with his confidence, openness about the skills and qualifications of other surgeons and, well, he is just a great communicator. And, very importantly, his clinic runs like a swiss watch. I mean, it isn't just him, it is his entire support staff. Until I went through this I didn't realize how many different people would be involved in the whole thing.
BTW, pardon my ignorance, but there may well be other 1500+ surgeons who I am simply aware of. I hear good things from the guys who have been treated at City of Hope in California but don't recall the specifics.
Tewari and Menon worked together and I know Tewari is very highly regarded, a total pro. There is a guy at Johns Hopkins (can't recall his name now, he is asian) who is somewhere over, I think 800 procedures and very well respected.
I think you'll find that, as others have said, the choice of type of surgery is less important than the skills of the surgeon. Scardino at Sloan-Kettering is second to none.
God bless you in your decision making. BTW, have you heard about a recent study that seems to classify prostate cancer into two distinct forms? The classification is by dna and there is one which apparently is very agressive and the other one is very slow growing and less dangerous. Don't have the citation handy, but wish the study had been completed before I had to make my decision...
Good luck, my friend.
<FONT color=#0000ff>PSA 3.76, Gleason 6, T1c, scans negative
<FONT color=#0000ff>Da vinci robotic surgery May 31, 2007,
<FONT color=#0000ff>Clear margins, clean pathology report
<FONT color=#0000ff>down to about one pad/day at 6 weeks.
<FONT color=#0000ff>Back to work and getting back to normal. AND I'm now a new grandfather and discovering more reasons to survive well than I ever could have thought of before...