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DaVinci Surgery: who has had it?

starman
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2009

I was wondering how many people here have had the DaVinci robotic surgery and if so how did it go? Where did you have it done? Were they able to just remove the tumor or did the whole kidney need to come out?

I'm having trouble finding a doctor who will use the DaVinci on me. So far two have said it would be overkill in my condition and a laparscopic procedure would work just fine, but the whole kidney will have to come out. These docs seem to be saying that DaVinci is more effective for prostate and other cancers, not kidney (but that's not what the makers of the DaVinci say).

ddt
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2009

My husband had the da Vinci surgery by Dr. Sam Bhayani in St. Louis at the Advanced Center for Medicine associated with Washington University/Barnes Jewish Hospital. This is his website. http://www.urology.wustl.edu/Physicians/Physician.asp?DrID=353 He teaches the da Vinci procedure all over the world and we loved him and his team. My husband ended up having metastises to his lymph nodes so Dr. Bhayani ended up opening him up and removing as many lymph nodes as he could get to. You have to fight this disease very aggressively. I know how you feel because once I found Dr. Bhayani I was so relieved knowing that my husband was with the best possible surgeon. As it turned out, the surgery was really the least of our problems and you are following the right path by starting out getting as much information as you can. I have read about a new procedure where they wash the area of the kidney removal with a warm chemo. If my husband were having the surgery now I would want to do that.

starman
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2009

Thanks DDT. I've had several doctors tell me that they won't know if the tumor is malignant until a day or two after the kidney removal, when the biopsy results get back. I was curious how your doctor knew the cancer had spread to lymph nodes during the surgery. Could they tell just by looking?

ddt
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2009

While still in surgery they sent a lymph node for a preliminary diagnosis. It came back positive and the doctor then opened my husband up and took out as many lymph nodes as he could find. We then got the final path report on all lymph nodes removed about a week later.

AMichael50
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2009

Was wondering, are you in the St Louis area? I would love to be able to find an oncologist in St Louis area who has a wealth of experience with RCC.

ddt
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2009

We are in St. Louis. We started out at Barnes Advances Center of Medicine which is supposed to be the gold standard in St. Louis. The first doctor there wanted to start my husband on Sutent before we could see any cancer back since they took it all out during surgery. I talked to many top doctors in the U.S. and all advised me against doing that. So then I asked to see his partner, who wasn't taking new RCC patients, Dr. Picus. He agreed to see us and treat my husband. We really could not deal with him. He was very arrogant and didn't even know my husband's stage when we were talking. We are now going to Dr. Paul Schultz with Missouri Baptist. He took us into a living room environment and made a cassette tape of our discussion and gave it to us. I was really impressed by that. The other thing is he has an e-mail address where you can e-mail him. I really liked that because sometimes I want to ask questions that I don't want to bring up in front of my husband. He also recommended Torisel which is what the doctor at MD Anderson was recommending for papillary RCC, which is what my husband has. Dr. Schultz had an office very near us and my husband was getting Torisel IVs every week so that was the deciding factor for us. There is a Dr. Needles at St. John's Mercy that everyone LOVES. You might want to try him. Hope that helps.

AMichael50
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2009

Small world, I'm in St Charles. My urologist and oncologist are with Barnes Jewish and Washington University. I'm curious, why would they want your husband to start on Sutent before they could tell any cancer was back? Could it be because clear cell and papillary are different animals? I have clear cell and was offered a clinical trial, but was told they couldnt be sure if I would get the medication or a placebo. All the possible nasty side affects scared me so I declined the clinical trial. I hope I didnt make a big mistake. My first post surgery CT scan this week was clean so im feeling pretty good. Good luck and God bless.....

Muzby
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2009

I had this surgery just over a year ago. I had a 2mm right lower pole renal mass, which ended up being in a difficult location. Instead of having a huge incision like you would with an open partial nephrectomy I was able to have several small incisions. That part is no different than laparoscopic. What makes the Robot good for this type of surgery, in my opinion, is the robot has a wrist action and this allows the surgeon to maneuver needles more easily and perform more delicate movements. This was very important to me because I only wanted them to remove the portion of the kidney with the tumor (and some surrounding, of course)so reconstruction of my kidney was going to be involved. I was only in the hospital one day and off of work for six weeks. My recovery went well, but I HATED my JP drain. ;)

I did not biopsy, it was not recommended for this type of lesion. They sent the specimens to pathology while I was still in surgery and got an intraoperative preliminary diagnosis of RCC. The final report was ready the next day and confirmed the RCC.

My doctor was S. Duke Herrell of Vanderbilt University Medical Center/Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. I highly recommend him. I was actually the first person to have the DaVinci robot used for kidney cancer surgery at Vanderbilt, so I guess that could be some testament to my trust in him!

xamfed
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2009

I had it done July 14th of this year at U of M. I had RCC on my right kidney, it was about 4 cm located on the top back part of my kidney. The tumor was biopsied before the surgery, it was stage 1. they went in through the abdomen and had to rotate the kidney. they were able to remove the tumor and only about 10% of my kidney. I was up walking less than 24 hours after surgery. home 2 days later. 6 weeks after was at the gym running and lifting weights. I have 6 small scars (less than 1 inch) and 1 scar by my belly button that is about 2.5" long.

I think the machine is great and would find a DR that uses it. they are about $1.6 million so not a lot of hospitals them.

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