Robotic Prostate Surgery
Posted in the Prostate Cancer Forum
Since: Dec 08
#1 Dec 12, 2008
Eleven days ago I underwent Robotic Prostate Surgery at NY’s Mount. Sinai hospital under the amazing hands of Dr. David Samadi, head of Robotic Surgery. There is no way to minimize the seriousness of this procedure but in my opinion it is not near as scary or invasive as I was expecting.
Under Dr. Samadi, the procedure takes 2½ hours and he is surrounded by an extraordinary permanent team which includes his assistants, a great anesthesiologist, nurses and office staff. On top of that my reception at Mount. Sinai was very warm and set as good a mood as possible to begin all this.
Upon waking up I was told the operation went smoothly and my nerves just "peeled away from my prostate". No cutting and splicing: What a relief. Dr. Samadi also said that in his opinion the cancer had not spread (this was confirmed a week later by the pathology report)
The recovery process begins right away and they expect you to be up and walking that day. You do of course have the catheter and an IV with antibiotics. The only additional medication I took was to prevent bladder spasms (which I didn't have) and stool softeners. Pain medication is an option depending need.
I did two pain killers on day one and one on day two as I had a bit of pain in my abdomen and sitting up was painful. Quite honestly and much to my surprise, I almost never felt the catheter. You are always aware it is there but it is not the horror I expected.
In the hospital you are asked to get up and walk as much as possible!
At discharge I was given pills for pain and bladder spasms, stool softeners as well as a five day antibiotic routine to start on the day before the catheter was removed. I did not need the bladder spasm or pain killers.
This past Monday I had the catheter and drain removed. The catheter took about 1 second and I didn't feel anything. I can only say that while the catheter caused pain, getting rid of it was a relief! Just to have freedom of movement was fantastic.
My diet at home was mostly soft food until we got rid of the catheter and now I am easing back in to normal diet and a normal life: bowel moments were normal within a week.
The two major after effects that concern everyone are incontinence and ED. ED is too soon to address but as for incontinence, this also seems to be progressing fine. I think like many men, I thought incontinence referred to a situation like a baby who had to wear a diaper as he could not control himself. It seems that "severe incontinence" refers to a leakage of two tablespoons a day, not some uncontrolled situation. So this is not the horror that I imagined and I can say that after four days of no catheter this looks like it is going to be OK. While the average is three months some doctors report that half their patients are fine within a week. So again, this is not something you want to worry about. There are exercises you must do and it will sort itself out.
Now I can only speak for the procedure I had, Robotic Radical Prostectomy and to the expertise of Dr. David Samadi. One thing all the books I read made perfectly clear was that
having a top surgeon is crucial to both the success of the operation and the recovery.
I do think it is important once diagnosed to read up on the subject to not only understand what the prostate is and what removing it means but the various options you have. I found it helpful to speak to a friend who had the same procedure a year ago as well as others who had the normal surgery, radiation seed implants and radiation beam therapy. So Robotic surgery is one of several options and a lot depends on age (I am 61), the size of your prostate, how advanced the cancer is, etc.
Bottom line is I am doing fine and relieved that this is behind me. For more information, Dr. Samadi is hosting a seminar at Mount Sinai January 14 and I would recommend anyone considering surgery to attend. Additional information can be on his web site at http://www.roboticoncology.com/
#2 Sep 30, 2010
Good to see medical companies making advances. As a senior citizen, it can be difficult for me to find all the medical products I need. Luckily, I am able to purchase my catheter supplies from http://www.180medical.com . It has made my life so much easier.
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