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Northern California Kaiser Permenente da Vinci Program

Posts: 79
Joined: Nov 2011

If any one has any experiences to share on their da Vinci at N.Cal Kaiser Permanente please do so on this thread. I'm presently on AS,but soon would be making some tough choices. Currently there are 4 da Vinci Urologists- 2 at Walnut Creek, One at Oakland and one at Santa Clara Kaiser. These are fellowship trained robotic Surgeons, not laparoscopic trained with mini-fellowships (2-5 days) in da Vinci,and some of them have actually crossed the magic 250#. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions. Thanks

Posts: 806
Joined: Mar 2010

I think commented elsewhere in response to a post of yours that I interviewed a couple of NorCal Kaiser daVinci surgeons. They do not do ONLY PCa surgery (they do other types of daVinci surgeries as well) and didn't have enough PCa experience for me to trust them to do an adequate job.

If you talk to any NorCal daVinci surgeons again make sure to ask them specifically how many PCa surgeries they've done, what their success rate has been (and how they define success) and ask for references you can speak to in order to verify the results.

IMHO, 250 is not a magic number. It's the bare minimum. If I ever considered surgery for PCa, which isn't going to happen, I wouldn't let anyone w/less than 1000 PCa surgeries touch me. They are out there, but not at Kaiser.

There was a guy in Florida I contacted a couple of years ago. The cost of the surgery wasn't that high (around $30k if I recall) but it seemed like he just was running a PCa mill cracking out as many PCa surgeries as he could fit in. That really turned me off but I never was that interested in resorting to surgery anyway.

FWIW, if you have to stay w/Kaiser and need treatment, I'd go w/BT before surgery. They have a good track record w/BT at their Roseville facility and BT (despite having it's own problems) offers you a much better possiblity of a "normal" quality of life following treatment than surgery does.

Good luck!

Posts: 259
Joined: Sep 2010

Hey rch,

I was operated on by Kaiser in Denver Colorado. The surgeon was also fellowship trained with 250 + operations under the fellowship. He had only 35 operations at Kaiser. I feel that the fellowship training is a big plus, in that the doctor learns the right way to do the procedure. To me this might be more important than performing 1000 procedures (I have no data to support this belief).

Anecdotally, my side effects have been mild, immediately continent with mild ED, and my PSAs have remained undetectable. However, I probably would have gone the brachy route except that I had a large prostate that would have had to be shrunk with hormones before the brachy could start. One positive of having the prostate removed is that I no longer have to get up several times a night to urinate and it no longer takes minutes to empty my bladder. Another positive is that you do get a complete biopsy of the diseased organ, which you do not get with radiation treatments.

Good luck and best wishes.

Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2010

Has anyone any experience with Oakland urologist/surgeon Dr Presti? My SO has an appointment with him on Thursday - was recommended by his Kaiser urologist for Da Vinci.

Posts: 79
Joined: Nov 2011

I anwered you on a different thread. By the way who is his Oakland Urologist who referred him to Dr Presti ?