What do we ask doc at pre-op visit?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 231
   Posted 11/29/2007 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kids,
Well tomorrow (Fri) we get pre-op tests done, then see Robo-doc on Monday.  I need to get a list of questions together to ask him and am drawing a blank.  Any suggestions?  Also is it normal that we have to wait this long(almost 2 months to get the surgery)?
Thanks, Les and DB

Doting Daughter
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1064
   Posted 11/30/2007 12:25 AM (GMT -6)   
We were told that it is normal to have a wait of around 8 weeks for the body to heal after the biopsy before they will do the surgery. What is his info again? (It is not showing up in your signature) Best of luck tomorrow and you will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Father's Information
DX July 15, 2007
Age 62 (now 63)
PSA 5.5
Original Gleason 3+4=7 
Post Surgery Gleason- 4+3=7
DaVinci Surgery Aug 31, 2007
Focally Positive Right Margin
One positive node
Bone Scan/CT Negative (Sept. 10, 2007)
T3a N1 M0
Oct. 17 PSA 0.07
Nov. 13 PSA 0.05
HT to being Nov 07
Radiation soon to follow

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 11/30/2007 12:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Hopeseo,
You need to wait 6-8 weeks for your body to heal after a biopsy before you have a radical prostatectomy.  So, two months would be a normal wait post-biopsy.  My surgeon told me that 4-6 months to wait between diagnosis and surgery is usually not an issue at all in terms of long-term prognosis.
Also, you may find some helpful questions for the doctor at this link:
And, I'll include some questions at the end of this post as well.  Really, any question is fair game.  What ever satisfies your need or curiosity is pertinent.  You are paying the bill and you are in the driver's seat.
I wish you the best,

You may find it helpful to ask the following questions:


Could you write down my exact type of prostate cancer?


May I have a copy of my pathology report?


If I wish to have another pathologist look at my prostate biopsy, how do I get the slides?


What is the clinical stage and Gleason score of this cancer?


What treatment option do you recommend?


Watchful waiting (Why would you recommend this option for me in particular?)


Surgery (What type, can the nerves be spared, and how often do you do this procedure?)


Radiation (What type do you use, and what can be done to minimize side effects?)


What are the short- and long-term side effects of this particular treatment?


What are my chances of:


Becoming incontinent


Becoming impotent


Having other urine or bowel problems


What are the chances of the cancer coming back if I have this treatment?


What is the expected survival rate?

"Idaho" ~ Barry


Da Vinci Surgery July 31, 2007… 54 on surgery day
PSA 4.3  Gleason 3+3=6  T2a  Confined to Prostate

1st PSA 0.04 (undetectable) 9/11/2007

My web site: http://pca-info.blogspot.com

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2331
   Posted 11/30/2007 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Barry (IdahoSurvivor) provided a comprehensive list of the questions that I would have suggested asking, so I won't repeat his list.

Prostate cancer treatment is usually not urgent, so a delay of months is not unusual. I waited 4 months from diagnosis to surgery for a couple of reasons: (1) To give my wife and me a chance to research and discuss treatement options and (2) my work schedule. It was nice to have the luxury of a few months before taking the plunge and undergoing surgery.

Age 59 PSA 2.6 (Quadrupled in one year) Gleason 5
Bilateral nerve-sparing RRP 6/21/06
Cancer confined to prostate, post-op PSA's non-detectable

Post Edited (TimG) : 11/30/2007 6:02:19 PM (GMT-7)

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 11/30/2007 4:24 PM (GMT -6)   
You have a bunch to go on. I joked with my surgeon on the day of the surgery and asked him if he slept well that night, that all was well at home. He just stared and replied that he did sleep well, and that he had no issues at home. Just when I thought there was no joking with him he added "the hang over will probably subside when your in recovery." True story. I added back "what about yours?".

He did very well, and I knew I was safe because I knew he didn't drink. And my hang over did subside in the recovery room.


Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology was poor: Gleason 4+3=7, 4 positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
My PSA did drop out after surgery to undetectable.  It has not returned and I will continue HT until January '08.
My Life is supported very well by family and friends like you all.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 11/30/2007 8:37 PM (GMT -6)   
My questions were mostly about the day of surgery and what to expect. I asked all I could think of but was still surprised at some of the things that happened. As an example, I assumed that I would be able to have at least ice chips right after the surgery. The protocol for nothing-by-mouth was held to until the morning after surgery. I expected to be in surgery about two and a half hours but ended up being there for four hours. The difference was mostly prep time. I expected to be put to sleep in the operating room. They gave me what they called a valium shot as I was being wheeled out of the holding room and I did not know anything until I woke up in recovery. I knew about the pulsating leg bags but what I did not know was that they could be set for either heat or cool. The nurses assume that most people coming out of surgery are cold so they set them on heat. In my case I was warm and it was the middle of the night before a nurse told me she could switch it to cool. I assumed the morning after surgery I would get something solid to eat but I was only allowed a liquid breakfast. I expected some pain but I had none. I expected to be groggy but I was just the opposite as I was wired and was calling family on my cell one hour after getting to my room.

This just gives you an idea of what you could ask. All of the questions concerning the catheter will be answered for you before you leave the hospital.

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
Undetectable PSA on 6/25/07

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 231
   Posted 12/2/2007 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys for all the help! Tomorrow is the day, so I'll let you know how it goes.
Les and DB

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