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Looking for EXPERT surgeon @ MD Anderson (Houston)

RubenV
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2019

My husband has just been diagnosed with PC...looking to remove total prostate. Want the BEST surgeon to hopefully have a GREAT outcome. Has anyone had this done at MD Anderson?

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3492
Joined: May 2012

RubenV,

All of the surgeons at MD Anderson are superb, or they would not have been hired.  Anderson is regarded as one of the best cancer centers in the world, perhaps the best.  Others in the US that are perhaps equal are Sloan Kettering (NYC), the Mayo Clinic, Moffitt CC (Tampa), and some others, especially in California.     

Virtually all prostectomies are 'radical,' or remove the whole gland.  Partial prostectomies ceased to be used hardly at all as far back as the 1970s, and are nearly unheard of today, unless for very unusual circumstances.

Surgeons and medical oncologists tend to be specialized in what they address, even at a place like MD Anderson. Review their staff online, and limit your choices to those who specify prostate cancer focus, and go from there.  Also, most prostectomies are robotic today, so look for a doctor who does DaVinci/Robotic surgeries.  The more they have done, the more expert they become, so choose a guy who has done a high number.

My surgeon, at a regional teaching hospital, had done 900 DaVincis at the time of mine, and is well over 1,200 today, for instance.  He reserves two days a week just for DaVincis, all day long, so he very likely could do them in his sleep.  Two hundred is informally, unofficially bantered about as a minimum number required for high proficiency.

 

Georges Calvez
Posts: 463
Joined: Sep 2018

Hi there,

Most surgeons top out at about 95% leak free on incontinence at eighteen months and around 60% restoration of erectile ability with men in their fifties and both nerves spared.
Some men are better surgical subjects than others; small prostate, the bladder neck is easy to work with, they heal quickly, etc, etc.
There are a lot of factors, some of which the surgeon will only see when he opens your husband up or you will only find out about in the weeks after surgery.
Mine was done at a regional centre in France by one of the senior surgeons and I would say that he did a good job and maybe I was a bit lucky as well.

Best wishes,

Georges

ufknkidding
Posts: 45
Joined: Aug 2019

Experience is important, but remember, a clinician who learned a bad habit or procedure tends to continue that practice until they are corrected or learn otherwise.  They could do thousands of procedures but if performed imperfectly will have imperfect results.  I'm not discounting the importance of finding a clinician who has done a high number of prostatectomies and that was certainly one of my criteria when chosing my surgeon, but you should also look up patient reviews, do a search on the clinicians license by searching something like your state + urologist + license verificiation and your state license verification portal should appear and then look for any disciplinary actions or sanctions.  If during your search the provider has been licensed in other states, do a license verification search in those states too.  Do a local court search on your provider and facility to see if anything shows up.  If your facility is a teaching hospital, as mine was, ask your doctor if he will be performing your surgery and/if what parts the resident(s) will be performing.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3492
Joined: May 2012

Kidding makes an important observation:  the sheer number of prostectomies, by itself, does not guarantee the greatest expertise or the best possible outcomes.   There was a time when each of the current best cancer surgeons on earth had done NO surgeries at all.  There was a time when Carlos Santana had never held a guitar.  The guy who holds the all-time sales record at a car dealership may very well not be the absolutely most ethical or thoughtful of the customer's needs.

IF you have absolutely decided on surgery (vs radiation), know that there is no best surgeon on earth, and no doctor who can guarantee perfect results.   Find someone well-trained at a great institution with whom you have a good rapport and trust, and go from there. 

 

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