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DaVinci on Oct 6 - what to expect

mtguy
Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 2010

After searching for a solution and qualified surgeon, I will have the operation on Oct 6 in Seattle at Swedish Medical. I've read a fair amount including Dr Walsh's book but I would like input from those that have had the procedure on what to expect immediately post surgery - like Day 1, Day 2... to the point of catheter removal.

I am 58, fit, no prior ED issues, Gleason 6, PSA 2.9 and 7/12 samples positive from 5% - 40%. Classified as T1C Stage 1. Prostate is enlarged but no tumors felt with DRE. On blood thinners for artifical mitral valve put in over 10 yrs ago. Will go of blood thinners today in prep for surgery.

What was your experience and what worked for you to manage it.

Thanks for any input.

The Nev
Posts: 50
Joined: Sep 2009

Expect to be unique, everyone is so different in time tables, side effects, pain levels, energy just about everything. But all that said here are a few things, most if not all people leak around the cath so it most likely will happen to you don‘t get alarmed.. When the cath is removed you may be dry (some are) or you make leak like the cath is still in (I did) or you may fall somewhere in between. So have pads and briefs on standby until you find out who you are. I soaked through two pairs of briefs a night for the first week, then it started to get better. First time I wet my bed since before I can remember. Don’t get discouraged; its easy to do if things don’t go as fast as you would like and they usually don’t. E.D. affects most everyone it could be short term, but be prepared for long term. The doctors have several treatment options for that also, so again don’t get to discouraged. There are so many great people on here I’m sure you’ll get a lot more info. The cancer has been discovered and there is treatment available, the rest will work out in time. Good luck prayers for you!

griff 1
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2010

mt i had mine on the 23rd of june and i think i made the right choice. it went good. in the hospital 2 and half days. when the cath came out i only had to wear 2 pads a day for about 3 weeks. then nothing so i was pretty lucky i guess. anyway it should be good if you have a surgeon that has done alot of them. all my nerves were saved. good luck on yours. let us know. griff

mtguy
Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 2010

I just had my pre-op meeting with the surgeon. He is approaching 1000 procedures with Da vinci and has had the procedure himself. My surgery will be a little more than standard in that I have been on blood thinners (artificial valve) and all samples on the left side of my prostate have signes of cancer so he was a little concerned about being able to spare the left bundle. He won't know of course until he is in there but I know he will do the best he can. I was told to expect 3-4 days in the hospital until my INR is stabelized.

I feel fortunate to have someone with that many surgeries under his belt. He is considered one of the best in the NW US.

Have just started the preping part to clean you out which is always fun. At least I could stop the self injections for keeping my INR in check. Just something about me and needles and stabbing myself with them. 5:40AM is going to come early tomorrow for check-in and then surgery at 7:40AM but at least that is the start on the road to recovery then.

Cheers

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1331
Joined: Apr 2009

procedure?

mtguy
Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 2010

He had another surgeon he trusted do it. Even though he was very familiar with the process, he stated that he too was still apprehensive about going into surgery...like anyone would be. He now has been on both sides of the surgical drape and knows first hand how the patient feels and wonders about going into this thing.

griff 1
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2010

let us know how it went. griff

SeattlePCa
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi,
Can you update us on how you're doing? I'm scheduled for surgery with the same physician on Nov 18. Confident in his skills, although I don't like being his last patient of the week. Hope he's got stamina. Not impressed with his office staff so far, but will put up with them to get to him.
Thanks for any information you can pass along!
PS - For those who wondered who did the surgeon's surgery, he went to Dr. Thomas Aherling at UC Irvine.

mtguy
Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 2010

We checked into the Swedish Medical Center Oct 6 at 5:40AM and surgery was started by 8:00AM. Was in my room by 1:00PM. Dr Porter told me surgery went as planned but he also found 2 hernias that he repaired at that time. My blood thinners for the heart valve presented more of an issue than we had hoped for. BP dropped drastically and ended up getting 2 units of blood on Sunday (4 days after surgery).

Started developing a fever and on Wed evening (week after surgery) it was decided to back into the OR as I had developed a hematoma on one side that concerned them. Back in the room around 11:00PM that night. Dr Porter was scheduled to be in Florida the next day but missed his plane to handle my issue and second surgery. No question about dedication and priorities.

End result - 2 surgeries and 12 days in the hospital. The only upside to all of that is that I did not leave the hospital with the catheter to manage. It was pulled 10 days after surgery and seemed like a big progress step for me.

SeattlePCa - I could not agree more about his office staff. Almost turned me to another surgeon in the area but once I got on his schedule, I was going to keep it. His Fellow in training with him is very personable. I like both of them.

I had heard a lot of positive things about Swedish Medial but frankly, I was disappointed. I have had 3 hospital stays and they would rank #3. The nursing and tech staff is like any other staffing function - you have a few stars and then all of the rest. My biggest conerns were 1) slow response time to a nurses call (twice they were never answered) and 2) communication issues between the Drs and the nurses - I was about to be given the wrong med level if it was not for my wife being there and vigilant. My favorite standouts for support and care in the hospital - Salih, Pam, and Kristen. These folks live up to a high standard for care and attention. I am sure where were others but after 12 days of drugs and little sleep - I appologize if I overlooked anyone.

Please let me know if there is anything I can help with. I am reoverying at me daughter's house in Seattle now for a week before a long ride back to Montana.

SeattlePCa
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2010

Staying put for a week before heading home sounds smart. Give yourself the time to hopefully get some decent sleep, and make sure you’re stable before taking that road trip. I’ve been real fortunate in that I’ve reached age 55 and never had to be in a hospital overnight. I’ve had two knee surgeries, but they were both on outpatient basis. My wife had surgery three years ago, and it was at Swedish. But, her first surgery since tonsils out as a kid, so we didn’t have much to compare it to! She’ll be with me, so hopefully she can keep an eye out for me as your wife did.

Probably like you, I did a lot of research before narrowing down my “candidate” surgeons. When I called to make the initial consult appt with Dr P, they asked if I’d like to be put on his surgery schedule. I was kind of taken aback because I obviously hadn’t made up my mind. But they said no problem if I canceled. Just prudent to get on his calendar “in case”; so, I did. Anyway, for my appt, I met with his fellow doctor first and we went through some of my specific questions, his take on my case, his explanations of how the surgery would be done, talk of care after surgery, etc.

Then, meet the surgeon. We probably spent 20 minutes together. Turned out his staff had made a mistake in calculating my responses on one of their eval forms. The dr wasn’t making sense to me in some of his discussion with me, so I finally asked a question that prompted him to actually look at the form. In a second, he realized the mistake. He had been about to send me home with medication that I did not need because of the staff error. Then, in the last few minutes, he hands me the surgery consent forms, which he signs in front of me. Says he hopes he doesn’t seem “presumptuous” in thinking I want him to do the surgery, but take these in case, read them at home. So I get home, I read the forms, and yes, I have questions. (Why didn’t they give me those forms at the beginning of the appointment when we could’ve discussed in person?) So, am now waiting to hear back from them. I’m a little concerned that because the dr is so busy he relies on others (fellow and office staff) to prep him about each patient. That he doesn’t have the time to take the time to look at every case closely. I’m probably not as interesting to him as you are what with your blood thinners issue!

In the mean time, I’m trying to not get too anxious. This has a surreal quality to it sometimes; I can’t quite believe it’s really happening. Have had a crash course in trying to learn as much as I can about PC without scaring myself to death. Reading stories of incontinence and ED can give you nightmares.

bdhilton
Posts: 759
Joined: Jan 2010

Must be your surgeon…My surgeon (William Catalona from Northwestern and one of the best in the world) spent about an hour and a half with me during my consultation plus returned several emails prior to us meeting plus he personally calls me down here in Atlanta to give me my PSA scores…. If a surgeon is to busy to give you individual attention then perhaps he is a doctor for the wrong reasons…just a thought

mtguy
Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 2010

I've had two major surgeries in my life (heart valve and prostate) and in both cases, the prep-op visit was very much to the point and clinical. Dr P is one of the best in the country but also manages his time to the point and not the pleasantries. I know when I had to have my second emergency surgery, he was scheduled to be in FL the next day but missed his flight that night because he was working on me. On my follow-up visit right out of the hospital to his office for some blood testing (was not meeting with him) he stopped us just prior to heading out the door and examined me. He was on his way to Japan as soon as he finished with me.

So it is a matter of a well experienced surgeon that is busy but will do a good job or one the might be good but also spend additional time with you. Dr P's organization was on my insurance providers list so that was not an issue.

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1331
Joined: Apr 2009

He has a very good reputation.....I heard him at a lecture...however, he does not accept any medical coverage; only cash........at the time I was diagnosed, it was 500 for a consult and 5000 for an operation with no complications.

bdhilton
Posts: 759
Joined: Jan 2010

I had an Uncle that was a teaching surgeon out of a major medical school and he did the same arrogant thing as this “great” doctor with the “cash” only (which means for example when a surgery is $40,000 it is $40,000 none of the discounts you get with an insurance company) Any doctor that thinks they are so “great” as to only accept cash is an capital “A hole”…sorry… My surgeon is one of the best in the world and he takes insurance, cash, charity, etc…now that is a “real” doctor that took the “oath”… I would run the other way…Sorry but this doc sounds like a real jerk to me

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1331
Joined: Apr 2009

I was diagnosed at UC Irvine, and was referred to this doc....and, at first, not knowing what other docs were available, I considered going to him(which I can afford) and even made an appt. in case I could not find another highly qualified doc.....but I felt, as you do that his position was arrogant and insensitive, and looked around for another doc.

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