Just because one surgeon is more experienced than the other doesn’t always mean you’re in less capable hands. There were two surgeons who did the DaVinci at my urologist’s office. One had over 1,000 and the other had over 300. I’m probably in the minority but after doing my research I chose the one who had over 300 since I knew of him beforehand through a friend, his impressive medical school and medical background, and the successful outcome of surgery that a couple of guys had who had him do their surgery. Additionally, he goes around the Southeast training other surgeons in the DaVinci procedure. I know opinions vary as to the number of surgeries involved during the “learning curve,” but I figured 300 was sufficient, and maybe even less. It all depends on the skill of the surgeon. Some pick it up faster than others.
Looking back, I could not have asked for a more successful outcome, and, after speaking with a few guys who had the more experienced surgeon, fared far better than them. I was in surgery for only an hour and forty-five minutes, was up and walking that afternoon, went home the next day, had absolutely no bloating or gas pain, negative margins, capsular penetration and seminal vesicles, was out of the pads at five weeks, had erections at six weeks, and am fully continent six months post-op. Another benefit of having the surgery done were I did was that both doctors work as a team and were in the operating room. My surgeon was at the controls and the other surgeon was at my side assisting. I felt very comfortable knowing that if complications arose during surgery I had two experienced surgeons there.
Bottom line, it all depends on the skill of the surgeon, and not necessarily the number of surgeries, although it is an important factor to take into consideration. I know I would never pick a surgeon who had only done, say, 50.
Diagnosed: March 25, 2007
Biopsy: Gleason 6. Five of twelve core samples positive with <5% each. No perineural invasion seen.
DaVinci Surgery: May 21, 2007 at Florida Hospital, Orlando, Florida. Surgery took one hour and 45 minutes. According to my surgeon, everything went textbook and the prostate peeled away nicely.
Post-op Pathology Report: Upgraded to Gleason 7 (3+4), negative margins, negative capsular penetration, negative seminal vesicles, lymph nodes left intact, multifocal perinural invasion, 15% of prosate involving cancer in both lobes.
Continence: Out of the pads at five weeks. Still have some very minor stress incontinence at times but it's not an issue. Still Kegel every day and will continue to do so.
Erections: Yes! With the assistance of Cialis.
1st Post-op PSA: <0.1 2nd Post-op PSA: <0.1
Family history: My Father had his prostate removed at age 67 in 1997 and has had a <0.1 PSA for the past 10 years. I was diagnosed at a much earlier age and had a more agressive cancer than my father. Go figure.
Post Edited (JCL) : 10/31/2007 6:12:39 AM (GMT-6)