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Contemplating RP

michfam
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2004

RP has been suggested for me (57 yrs old). Because of privacy laws the doctor can't give you a list of previous patients, so how do you check up on the doctor's surgical abilities?

nutt
Posts: 140
Joined: Sep 2001

Not sure if I can really answer and hope some of our more experienced member weigh in on this to help you but:

1. he can tell you how long he has been performing this procedure?
2. he can tell you how many of these procedures he has done.
3. he can contact several of his patients and get their APPROVAL to have you or them contact you.
4. you can contact the state which licenses him and check out his background / credientels etc...
5. you should be able to contact your local Better Busniess Bureau and ask them what they have on him? How he runs his business and quantity and type of complaints could be an indication on how his practice is run.
Now, I hope other more qualified fellow members may have some magic web page or site for you.
If all else fails and he doesn't want to cooperate you can always pursue other doctors?
Personally, I would go and sit in his office for a week and meet all of his patients coming and going and ask them directly- surely he could not object to this, or would he? heh, heh,
Joe

michfam
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2004

Joe and Benji: Thanks for your advice. I will let you all know how it turns out. Tony

Benji48
Posts: 117
Joined: May 2003

Hi,

Here's a few web sites that might be of assistance:

www.abms.org (board certification)

www.ama-assn.org

www.searchpoint.com

www.checkbook.org/doctors/discipline.cfm

As Joe say's ask around. There may be a prostate support group in your area, check out the local hospitals, they may know how to get in touch with them. Do you have any cancer clinics nearby? If so they may know of them also. Look in the newspaper for info about their meetings. This is one of the best places for info from like afflicted people.

Good Luck, Benji

mikebur
Posts: 24
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Michfam!!! Joe and Benji gave you great advice. I also went on the web and checked out the state web sites concerning my surgeon (who was also my urologist) and checked to see if there were any complaints against him. There were none. Then I went into some of the HMO and hospital websites. There was also some web sites in New York (my state) that showed by hospital and then by surgeon - how many RP's were done by each respectively. I would ask other doctors (maybe your primary doctor etc.). Also ask him if you can get a second opinion - my doctor asked me if I wanted to speak with other doctors in his group or outside the group and this made me feel comfortable that he was at least open to my asking other doctors. I had the radical prostatectomy on 7/25/03 and although I still have some of the residuals (impotence and incontinence) I'm glad I had the surgery. Keep doing what your doing - asking a lot of questions and go on the web and then you'll feel more comfortable in making your decision. My doctor was also open to my speaking with a radiation oncologist - in case I decided to do radiation instead of surgery. God bless you. Mike

michfam
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2004

Mike: Thanks for your advice. I will let you know how this turns out. Tony

rogermoore's picture
rogermoore
Posts: 265
Joined: Mar 2002

You have received a lot of valuable suggestions from members of this fraternity. As you go forward with your decision I hope you will continue to visit us with updates on your progress.

I am approaching the 3rd anniversary of my RP and plan or REALLY celebrating it. As for how to choose a surgeon, you have already received numerous suggestions. As for me, I asked the diagnosing Doctor who he would go to if he wanted a second opinion? He gave me two names, one in Memphis, and one in Nashville. I then went on the net and researched the education of each Doctor. I then set up an appointment with the Dr. I selected. Incideently, I elected to use the Doctor at Vanderbilt Med. Center.

Best wishes on your decision. I can be contacted at my e-mail listed in my profile.

Roger

pocamo
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

I am a 46 year old male, just recently went for a PSA and it came back 5.7, after 1 month on antibiotics, 5.4. Then biopsys, out of 6 all six malignant. Tommorrow I go to discuss my options. Have any suggestions?

rogermoore's picture
rogermoore
Posts: 265
Joined: Mar 2002

pocamo,

I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. There are several options available to you, as I'm sure you physician will explain.

My first suggestion is that you get a second opinion. In doing so you may be offered some options not mentioned by your current doctor. Above all, keep your faith and positive attitude. It is quite a shock to be diagnosed with cancer, but there are a lot of survivors out here to offer you support. Please keep in touch and if you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me via my e-mail listed in my profile.

Best of luck,

Roger

Benji48
Posts: 117
Joined: May 2003

It would be beneficial to publish as much information about your situation as possible.
Particularly Gleason score? Bone scan? Tumor classification? This will help in determining options available.
Benji

skhill
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2003

First, ask the doc right up fron t about experience and complication rates.

When I was diagnosed I asked a friend who was a surgeon at the same facility about my urologist. You could also check with the state medical board to see if there are any complaints. Do a Google search and see if doc's name comes up and how. And maybe best of all, go to your local Man-to-Man group and see what people who have had the doc do the surgery think of him.

Good luck! Be strong!

skhill

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