Paul--I had an open surgery. It went well and I quickly recovered physically, although I did not go back to work until 4 weeks post surgery. I was fully continent within about a month of the catheter removal.
Both nerves were spared but ED continues to be a problem. We are using penile injections; not my first choice, but the one that works best for us.
Each person's recovery is individual and dependent on many factors. I was in supremely good health before my cancer diagnosis and continue to enjoy excellent health following surgery.
DaVinci robotic is probably how most prostatectomies will be performed in the future and while there is some bells-and-whistles-woohoo-latest-greatest hype about this procedure, the fact remains that it has proven itself.
I don't regret having chosen an open surgery. I trusted the surgeon and felt comfortable with him. He did open prostatectomies only but was more than happy to refer me to a surgeon who did DaVinci robotic surgery if I wanted that.
Johns Hopkins University urologists are odd ducks of a sort. Their sterling reputation regarding prostate cancer was built on Patrick Walsh and Alan Partin and others who set the standard for open prostatectomy, including nerve sparing surgery. They may not have jumped on the DaVinci robotic bandwagon because their practioners have had such amazing success with open prostatectomy.
My biopsy slides were sent to Jonathan Epstein, JHU pathologist, who is the best interpreter in the world of prostate cancer cells.