da Vinci surgery

April 2016

Tendency to Drop Things After Prostate Surgery

By |April 22nd, 2016|

I had prostate removal surgery, and let me tell you a little about that first week at home after surgery (dropping everything).

I was 62 years old when I had da Vinci robotic prostate surgery and in pretty good overall health.  I played basketball in high school and tried to stay active in later life, kept my weight in check, and ate “right” whenever I could.  To my way of thinking, I was pretty normal, maybe even more fortunate than most.

What’s my point?  My point is that as an active guy, I normally didn’t drop stuff around the house.

After a couple of nights in the hospital, my wife drove me home on Day 3.

Now what’s important here is that after […]

Spillage of Cancer Cells During Surgery

By |April 22nd, 2016|

Will cancer cells spill into my body when the surgeon is in there cutting away?  This was one of my main questions, when I was considering how to treat my prostate cancer.  Which therapy should I go with?  If I choose surgery, won’t that make things worse (in the long run) by cutting up the prostate gland in my body and spilling the cancer cells all over the place?  Over time, won’t that allow the cancer to come back  (biochemical recurrence) ?

Well you should ask your doctor about this, because I did.  And I got a very good answer (for me and my specific case).

There are things in this world called “specimen retrieval bags.”  Medical equipment companies make them.  […]

Going Back to Work After Prostate Surgery

By |April 12th, 2016|

Before I had my robotic prostate surgery, I had heard/seen some amazing stories about how fast certain guys were returning to work.  It sounded almost too good to be true, or maybe they were just cherry picking the best case scenarios.  But what is more typical – what is more reasonable?

Well, I had my prostate removed by a urologist with the assistance of a da Vinci robotic system, and all I can really talk about is what happened to me. In my case, I wanted to take my time – heal properly and not set any records.

First of all, the robotic method is designed to be less invasive, meaning less cutting, less blood loss. Instead of an open incision […]

Recovery from Prostate Surgery

By |April 11th, 2016|

 
Robotic prostate surgery recovery time
Prostate cancer runs in my family, and I knew it was only a matter of time before my number came up.  When I did get the diagnosis, I chose robotic surgery to treat MY case of prostate cancer, but there are many other excellent therapies available.  You can only decide what to do for your case of prostate cancer by consulting your medical doctor.

How was my recovery from prostate surgery?  Let me say that just as every human being is different, so is every case of prostate cancer.  And the last thing in the world I would recommend is to compare your case with anyone else’s case, including my own.  Yes, you can get a […]

June 2015

How Soon Are You Up After Robotic Prostate Surgery?

By |June 18th, 2015|

Before I went in for da Vinci robotic prostate surgery, my doctor told me, “we let you rest on the day of surgery, but then get you up the next day.”  Ok, that sounded reasonable to me.

In the back of my mind, I recall reading how some doctors recommend you get vertical after surgery, walk a few steps – if you can. It helps to get the blood flowing.  However, you have to follow your own doctor’s orders.

In my particular case, after the robotic surgery, I was wheeled up to my hospital room at about 12:00 noon, as I recall. Then at about 3:00 pm, I asked the nurse if I could get up and walk, knowing that my […]

March 2015

Why My Doctor Uses the da Vinci Robot to Remove Cancerous Prostate Glands

By |March 20th, 2015|

The doctor who performed my prostatectomy was – like most urologists – originally trained to do the traditional or “open” type of prostate removal surgery. That’s where they make a 4″ to 6” incision in your groin and go in manually to remove your prostate.

Then the da Vinci Surgical System received approval in the U.S. and some doctors got on the robotic bandwagon and some did not. Today they have a choice – they can choose to do it the traditional (open) way or the robotic way.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the robotic method offers certain clear and distinct advantages compared to traditional or open surgery. There’s no argument there. Why? Because less invasive surgery offered by […]

February 2015

Why is a Bowel Cleanse Necessary for a da Vinci Robotic Prostatectomy?

By |February 23rd, 2015|

Yes, I had to do a bowel cleanse before my prostate surgery, just as I had to do before a routine colonoscopy. You know the program – first drink this fluid and then the toilet becomes your new-best friend for the next 12 hours or so.

But why?

Why do you have to go through this not-very-pleasant experience before prostate surgery?

I did some research and came up with two possible explanations.
#1) To clean the intestine of stool, food particles and fecal matter to reduce the chances of infection.
The thinking is that if you do a bowel cleanse before major abdominal or pelvic surgery, you lower your chances of infection. Since the prostate is located deep inside the abdomen, if there is […]

One Day After da Vinci Prostate Surgery

By |February 2nd, 2015|

It was 3:00 a.m. on the day after surgery, and I was awake in bed. So I decided to ask the night-shift nurse if I could get up and walk, and she said sure.  She unhooked my compression socks from the machine at the foot of the bed, unplugged my IV stand from the wall (to go on battery), and we proceeded to take a walk down the hall – and went a slightly further distance than my first walk (about 12 hours prior).

It felt good. I was trying to get my recovery moving along, you know, get the blood circulating. We walked all the way to the “window” this time and back. I wanted to go further, but […]

January 2015

Surgery Day: Da Vinci Robotic Prostate Surgery

By |January 27th, 2015|

This is how my surgery day went. Yours may be similar or different. Every case of prostate cancer is unique.
SURGERY DAY – My da Vinci robotic surgery is scheduled for 7:30 am, so I was told to arrive by 6:00am.

Nurse’s first prep me in a small, curtained off area, insert IV’s in both arms, because they want to use one in the operating room and one for backup. They take more blood samples.

White-compression socks are put on my lower legs to help prevent blood clotting.

I had used the Hibiclens® antiseptic cleanser in the shower at home. Don’t have to scrub hard, just make contact with the skin. Then at the hospital, a staff person gave me what I think […]

One Day Before da Vinci Prostate Surgery

By |January 19th, 2015|

Pretty soon it’s go time. Tomorrow is surgery day, and I’m supposed to be there first thing in the morning. My instructions: do not eat solid foods today, just clear liquids. The goal, I believe, is to clean out the colon. But why?

I think it has something to do with the fact that the prostate gland sits right next to, or on top of, the colon and when your doc is removing the prostate, he needs that nearby colon tissue to be empty and flexible and pliable.

I think cleaning out the colon is also standard practice for any surgery to lower the chances of infection.

So step #1 is no solid food today, and step #2 is start drinking the […]

Pre Admission Testing: One Week Before Prostate Surgery

By |January 18th, 2015|

For the hospital that I was scheduled to have my da Vinci robotic surgery in, the guideline was to make an appointment one week or earlier, before my surgery date, for P.A.T. or Pre Admission Testing.

The pre admission nurses pretty much ran the show for this meeting. I filled out forms, and they drew blood for blood typing – I guess in case I needed some extra blood during surgery. However, my doctor told me this was highly unlikely, because the blood loss in da Vinci robotic surgery is really low. (And that turned out to be true).

Next they took my vitals like weight, pulse, BMI (body mass index), and blood pressure (which was surprisingly low at 110/66 for […]

December 2014

5 Reasons Why I’m Glad I chose da Vinci for my Prostate Cancer Surgery

By |December 3rd, 2014|

1) The prostate cancer is gone.
My doctor told me I had prostate cancer, and I’m a relatively young-ish guy (62) and in pretty good health and expect to live at least 20 years or more. Watchful waiting or active surveillance – no way, not for me. I chose the “gold standard” for treating organ-confined prostate cancer. That is, surgical removal (prostatectomy) by an experienced urologist with the assistance of a da Vinci robot.

It worked fantastically for treating my case of cancer, and how do I know that? Easy, I got my PSA tested after surgery and it went to zero, or undetectable, or <.01 ng/mL. Because my PSA level went to zero (or undetectable) after surgery and has stayed […]

November 2014

Bloating: What is the Real Story after Robotic Prostate Surgery?

By |November 30th, 2014|

Ok, I’ve read a lot of stories online about men who have had robotic prostate surgeries, and I occasionally hear them complaining about their “bloating” problem. Ironically, an old friend of mine also told me about how he helped somebody out after prostate surgery. He picked him up at the hospital and drove him home, and the first thing he mentioned to me was how this guy had a “bloating” problem.

In yet another online story, a surgery patient actually suggested that you pack a loose-fitting pair of pants to go home in, because your waist line is too bloated up. (Well, I believe you should wear some loose fitting pants, but not for the same reason. I say it’s […]

How I Survived Prostate Cancer After da Vinci Robotic Surgery – Day to Day Log

By |November 22nd, 2014|

Yes, I had prostate cancer and yes, I chose surgery to treat it.

Before we go any further, let me explain that I am not a medical doctor – far from it. In fact, I’m an accountant. So there is absolutely no assurance that anything I say that touches on medical matters is true, correct, precise or up to date. Even if a statement I make about medicine is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms.

This is informational only and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical doctor.
My Story
Prostate cancer is common in my family.  My Dad had it, all of his brothers (my uncles) had it, and I knew it was probably just a matter […]

May 2014

How I Got Up and Walked 3 Hours After da Vinci Robotic Surgery

By |May 19th, 2014|

I had read about how da Vinci robotic surgery was supposed to be “minimally invasive.” What exactly does that mean? I guess it means less cutting, less blood loss, less trauma to the body and faster recovery time. Was the advertising legit? Stay tuned, and I’ll tell you how my surgery went.

The doctor removed my prostate gland (prostatectomy) with the assistance of a da Vinci robotic surgical system. As I woke up in the recovery room afterwards, I lifted the light blanket that was covering me, and all I could see were 4 or 5 “keyholes” or dime shaped marks on my torso or abdomen. They didn’t look like incisions – I couldn’t see any stitches – they just […]

Is da Vinci Robotic Surgery Painful?

By |May 8th, 2014|

I had prostate cancer and chose to have it treated with surgery using the da Vinci® robotic surgical system. Did it hurt?   Stay tuned, and I’ll tell you all about it. I am an average guy without an agenda, so I’ll give you the straight info.

Before I answer the question, first a little background.  Let me walk you through the couple of days before and the couple of days after the surgery, so you’ll better understand my answer.

Before the surgery, I had to fast and then drink that colon flushing solution – just like you would before a routine colonoscopy.  Apparently, for pelvic area surgery, they want the colon completely empty.  So as anyone who has had a colonoscopy before […]

10 Great Things that Happened to Me After Prostate Surgery – The Urological Decafecta

By |May 6th, 2014|

I chose prostate surgery to treat my case of prostate cancer. You and your doctor may choose a different method.
When they wheeled me into the operating room, I had no idea that I would be receiving some “unadvertised” benefits.  Yes, prostate cancer was my diagnosis, and that is not a good thing, but I have to admit that I was more than pleasantly surprised after everything was said and done.

“The 3 goals of successful radical prostatectomy in descending order of importance are cancer control (margins), urinary continence, and potency.”1

 

Urologists sometimes speak of the ” trifecta.”  They’re not talking about horse racing – it’s a term that is sometimes used with prostate removal surgery. What do they mean?  In short, it describes […]

  1. http://www.roboticoncology.com/oncology-articles/organ-confined-prostate-cancer/#sthash.mRo6ONyS.dpuf []
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