Naimnut said it best I think. Your doctors encouraging second opinions also spoke well.
Specialists are passionate about
If you like the surgeon more than others, and this surgeon is better at
open surgery is not such a big deal.
Bluebird's Buddy chose
open (See their Journey) and I had to have
open as the robotic tools could not penetrate lesions from previous surgeries. (They tried for an hour.)
I personally would not make my decision on just healing time - or weak statistical claims about
open versus robotic. Depending on your circumstances, these are pretty much a wash - with a slight statistical advantage to robotic.
Some surgeons have suggested to me that this robotic advantage may be skewed a little by experience as "
open" is no longer the norm but rather the exception.
I still suspect the fine tuning of movements and deliberate magnification available in robotic gives some advantage as well!
Med students now flock to observe any
open procedures scheduled.
However, concerning your decision process for choosing a surgeon, 80% continence after one year is just average for either
open or robotic with an experienced surgeon.
And 70% "potency" after a year is a vague claim. This usually means "penetration" is achievable and erection quality is some fraction of your peak as a teenager.
Still, 70% is a good track record. The general cliam is 90% at two
years with those that use injections
recovering first and those just using the pump & Viagra, etc
. second and those doing nothing
Sloan-Kettering is most excellent
and if you like this surgeon that would be a good reason to go with him/her.
I only recommend that you get a second opinion from the best facilty and surgeon you can manage. Any surgeon worth her/his salt will welcome and assist your second opinion.
(Mine set one up for me at M.D. Anderson. It was a great time to ask questions and get away for awhile.)
Your decision will include such things as
Travel distance (some distant surgeries require switching to a local physician for recovery),
Wait-time for a surgery date versus your thoughts on waiting, and
- Your comfort level with your surgeon of choice and the treatment facility.
My numbers were promising and suggested I could take my time to move to surgery.
However, the pathology report showed the tumor was touching the inside edge of the capsule.
I also suggest you wait no longer than necessary.
Schedule with both possible choices if necessary but good surgeons will have a waiting list.
When you cancel as timely as possible, another patient can move up and
- you too may get to move up if it fits your needs.
Your numbers are promising. As you noted, only the post surgery pathology report will tell you close to almost certain whether or not you have capsular penetration.
The information from this pathology report is a big motivator for many without other complications to choose surgery.
We still get micro PSAs forever - even with a best-case scenario report.