Freaking since pre-op visit with robo doc

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 231
   Posted 12/4/2007 3:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Well it is almost 3:00 in the morning and I just can't get over the visit yesterday with the robo doc.  I know they have to tell you stuff that can go wrong to cover themselves, but man!  It was the part where he said if we nick the bowel, we will try to repair it there.  After that all we heard was blur.  We are going thru with the DaVinci but now more scared than ever.  DB is freaking out now, and I wonder if I should get him to call and get some Xanax or something till the surgery in 2 weeks.  My take on this is that "open" would be how I would go, but DB still works and needs to get back to work asap.  The other benifit is the low blood loss with DaVinci.  But the surgery is longer and I just hope we can come to grips with the whole thing. Did you guys get more scared after the pre op visit?  Also He didn't think he would take lymph glands while in there.  Is that normal?
Les and DB

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 12/4/2007 5:42 AM (GMT -6)   
No need to resort to drugs to get through this last waiting period unless its a very last resort. Just relax, and remember.... They have to tell patients risks just as they have to tell you all the great the benefits. Being frightened to tears is a normal human reaction. We fear the unknown more than those things familiar to us. Those bad lines that go with the good are real character builders. Hang in there and it'll all be a big "whew" in no time.

PS: unless DB is already on some type of antidepressant , Nartol makes a brand of 5HTP that works wonders for anxiety. Google it to see if it may be of interest.


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 12/4/2007 9:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I have not heard that the surgery is longer. But most importantly by surgeon, who had hundreds of opens before they got their daVinci in 2001, told me about the risks and emphasized that the robotic method was less prone to error. My surgery was 1.5 hours. No problems.

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.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 474
   Posted 12/4/2007 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Hopeso - We understand exactly how you feel. Our freakout focus was on the anesthesia part. You're doing the right thing by going ahead - you've researched and selected a procedure that best suits your needs and with the prospects of a great outcome.

On every level with everything, there are remote risks that have to be listed. Go do a search on aspirin or Lipitor (for instance) and you'll find a laundry list of scary things that they don't list on the labels or even on the manufacturer's sites unless you dig deep enough. Very, very scary.

The time will go quickly - now it's time to focus on positive thoughts as best you can.
Husband age 66
PSA on 5/1/06: 4.2 (had doubled in 13 mos. and rising monthly)
DaVinci Surgery 8/2/06 - Austin, TX w/Dr. Randy F.A.G.I.N.
T2a (at biopsy)
At pathology - cancer cell leakage into fatty tissue
Post-Surgical PSA on 10/06, 4/07 - undetectable!
11/1/06 - perhaps bladder neck involvement; 30%-50% chance of recurrence
PSA test "Un-zero-detectable" on 10/16/07.
9% chance recurrence w/in next 7 years (down from 50% as we understand it)
Future: PSA tests twice-yearly for now.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 231
   Posted 12/4/2007 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh my goodness, what would I do without you kids? I am sitting here crying tears of gratitude, for the support I am getting here. I have always been the sick one with the ulcerative colitis and then the ileostomy that I got because of that disease. DB was always there, and now I am doing good, and just dont' know how to help him to be positive and support him. He did tell me after outr visit with the doc yesterday, that now he was feeling really scared. I don't want him to think I feel sorry for him, or do I? I just don't have a clue. I love him and would do anything for him if he could just let me know what he needs. Being that he is a guy, he keeps emotions under cover pretty much. Except when he has road rage. That is when I get to see and hear his feelings. Oh Boy!!! I guess right now we will get busy with getting Christmas taken care of before time, as he won't feel like shopping too much afterward.
Thanks again,
Les and DB

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/4/2007 6:15 PM (GMT -6)   

Your post sounds like deja vu to me.  I began to panic days before the surgery and the folks in this forum helped me calm down.  Their advice was:  you've made the right choice for you, take a deep breath, focus and the surgery will be over before you know it.

They were right.  In at 7:30am, out in regular room at 10:45am so the actual surgery was 2hrs give or take 15 minutes.

Best wishes,



Diagnosed 9/07
Gleason 6  3+3
First PSA 4.1
2nd PSA 3.6
stage T1C
age 46
daVinci performed 11/28/07
@ Univ of Ala Bham (UAB)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 12/4/2007 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Les and DB,
Take courage and have faith.
I feared the same bowel issue.  Could it happen? Yes.  Will it happen? Statistically with probability?  NO. There could be many other factors as well but occur very rarely.
DaVince is best in my mind.  I had total confidence in my URO, his experience and in the technology of robotics.  Being in electronics for 40 years assured me that robotics was right.  Magnified vision with intensified lighting, voting computers on decisions, hand control shaking eliminated and sudden movements stopping the machine in its movement are pristine.  No fear.  I had about 3 hours of surgery....much less then open.  Nerve sparing means that the URO surgeon must be extreme careful...............
Put your faith in your Maker and go for it or find another URO.
You will be in my prayers,
64 years old 100307; healthy; active,
married 41 years, good strong erections before surgery.
DaVinci Prostate Removal February 5, 2007
2/12 samples malignant.
Catheter removal 2/13.
Viagra 25mg every other day from 2/14 to 5/12.
Tried Viagra 100mg on occasion-no erections.
Incontinence almost gone after three months.
No pads, occasional  dribble.
Lavitra every other day 5/12 to 7/22.
Muse 1000mcg - no help (50% at best).
Cialis twice a week 7/25 to 11/6/07.
Vacuum pump daily/twice a day 8/2 and going - no help.
Begin Trimix injections, two low dose per week, 11/05/07.
Currently, vacuum pump and low dose Trimix twice per week each.
Trimix in office - 0.10cc.  Low dose set at 0.05cc
First drug induced erection 10/8/07....Wow!
Natural erections - 0 as of 10/25/07.
PSA's, three to date undetectable.  Thank God!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 12/4/2007 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Les and DB, We have all heard it is darkest before the dawn. You have actually traveled through the darkest points at this time, every thing from here on will be into light as you are finding out. As the group here on the forum gives you support and you have researched the treatments and have decided on one that is right for you, notice how light is starting to shine on you. I personally didn't worry much about the surgery once I decided on the procedure. The surgeon has had years of study, practice and most important ( success ). It's not like you are number one to have this procedure. Spend your time doing Kegals, walking, and getting ready for recovering and a great life afterward. Having a positive attitude that you are going to come out on top is very helpful. Good luck and God Bless, Uncle Dan
Age 67
No symptoms, DRE negative, 10 - 06 PSA 5.44, 01 - 07 PSA 6.47
5 - 07 CT and Bone scans negative, 05 - 07 Biopsies, 2 of 6 positive
Gleason Score (3+4) 7 Stage T1c
08 - 14 Dr. Dasari - Baptist Hospital, Nashville da Vinci RAP, five hours surgery
Some right nerve and all left nerve removed,
Hospital discharged 8 - 16
Pathology report Negative margins, Encapsulated, 50% left side
Lymph nodes 2 R & 1 L - Negative, R & L seminal vesicles - Negative
Gleason changed (4+3) 7 closer to 8 than 6
9 - 26 Great PSA 0.000, 9 - 27 Starting on meds for ED
10 15 Dry most of the time, occasional leak (dribble )
10-27 Received pump started use on 10-29 can see resulted, enlargement.
11-22 Viagra, Lavitra no help yet, Pump still not producing usable results either.
11-28 2nd PSA since surgery 00.00

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2362
   Posted 12/5/2007 4:39 AM (GMT -6)   

Informed consent requires physicians to let you know all the negative outcome possibilities, no matter how rare.  It's difficult not to individualize this information and fear that this will happen in your particular case.  The overwhelming odds are that it won't. 

If you've ever read the fine print on any medications that you are taking, the list of all the bad things that could happen can scare you to death, but in spite of that, the odds are low that the medication will cause any problems.  It is perfectly natural to be fearful and apprehensive. 

We're scared because we've been diagnosed with prostate cancer. We're fearful of the unknown and question whether we've made the right decision regarding treatment.  And we're frightened that the surgery or other treatment will have an adverse outcome.  Plus, there is plenty of free-floating anxiety regarding the numerous issues related to our prognosis and secondary effects.   

Take care and hang in there...Tim



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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 12/5/2007 6:18 PM (GMT -6)   
It is natural to be afraid of the surgery or any other treatment. As for me I was relieved when I made my decision on what to do to get rid of my cancer. If I could have had surgery the next that would have been fine for me. I just needed some relief of the worry of the cancer. I want it out of me. I had open surgery and could not have been more happy about my recovery. Mine took about 1.5 hours and had an excellent recovery. ED is still an issue and still have some strees leaking 6 months after surgery. A small price to pay to get rid of cancer. Take care and this will all be just a distant memory.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 12/6/2007 7:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with everything everyone is telling you, but anxiety is real and I had never felt anxiety like I did when I was first diagnosed.  And I got Xanax.  It did the trick.  It got me through the worst of it (2 weeks) and after that I felt better.  It's harmless to be on it and was very helpful, so if you need it, don't be a hero.  Plenty to deal with down the road.  The thing I thought was sort of funny was when I requested the docs notes after surgery, it said something like a patient with Prostate Cancer and an "anxiety disorder".  I thought to myself...anxiety doesn't cause cancer, but cancer does cause anxiety.  So I guess maybe I did have an anxiety disorder at the time.  But now the cancer is gone and so is my anxiety! :)
42 yo.
PSA 4.65
Gleason scores from 4 pathologies of the same biopsy with 2 of 12 cores positive for cancer (if this isn't confusing to the patient...):
1) both cores 3+4 (Weiss Memorial)
2) one 3+4 and one 3+3 (Univ. of Chicago Hosp.)
3) both cores 3+3 (Mass General Hosp.)
4) both cores 3+4 (Northwestern Memorial Hosp.)
9/17/07 - Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy Surgery at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago by Dr. William Catalona.
and the winner op Gleason score of 3+4.
Good pathology report with negative margins, no seminal vesicale involvement, no lymphatic or vascular invasion, bladder and urethral free and tumor volume was 5% of 27.3g.  Amazing how something so small can cause such problems!
9/27/07 - Catheter removal...let the games begin...

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