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Had my pre op meeting at the hospital yesterday I'm now less than one week away from my op. To my surprise I was told that the hospital has only been using the Da Vinci robotic surgery since 1st Dec 07, although they have been using laparoscopic rp surgery since 2003. I originally thought that they had been using the Da Vinci method since 2003. This has now got me worried regarding the experience of the doctors operating the system, can anybody explain the difference between the two systems is the Da Vinci easier to operate than the non robotic laparoscopic surgery.
When I considered Lap or DaVinci, doctor experience seemed to be the big selling point not the method. From what I gleaned one impotant aspect is how long you're gonna be under. Those lacking experience can take upwards of four hours or more, more experienced doctors can usually get it done in under two. Since anesthesia can lead to complications - especially the longer you're under, I'd ask questions if I were you. Good luck (Alaska, USA)
p.s. The guy up here reportedly took at least four hours and that's the main reason I steered clear of it.
I HAD LAPAROOSCOPIC SURGERY DONE IN APRIL OF 2006 TO HAVE A GULL BLADDER REMOVED AND ALL WENT WELL.ALL INSTRUMENTS USED IN THAT SURGERY WAS DONE BY HAND USE.WHICH YOU CAN NOT COMPARE TO GETTING YOUR PROSTATE REMOVED.I HAD MY PROSTATE REMOVED IN OCT OF 06 DONE WITH THEY DAV INCI METHOD.WHICH IS ALL ROBOTIC.THE DOC USES JOY STICKS TO MOVE THE INSTRUMENTS RATHER THAN HIS HANDS. MUCH MORE PRECISE IN MOMENT.THE DOC I HAD DO MINE HAD DONE OVER 1500 WHEN HE DID MINE.BUT BECAUSE HE DID THAT MANY DOES THAT MAKE HIM THE BEST ? SOME PEOPLE DO THINGS NUMEROUS TIMES AND ONLY GET SO GOOD AT IT.
Had mine done at the University of Chicago Hospital the 4th of this month by a surgeon with over 800 da Vinci procedures. During my original consultation I asked him about the time length of the operation and he said he can do them between 90 minutes and two hours. My operation lasted 4 hours and everything went fine but since this is a reaching hospital I just assumed that I was the "subject" of the lesson being taught that day.
Also during the initial consult I I asked him if he would be the only surgeon working on me and he said," Well, you know this is a teaching institution and there will be more than one surgeon in the operating room, but I will do all of the delicate work, like cancer control, nerve preservation and the fine suturing of the urethra to the bladder." So, thinking back on that statement, I am quite sure that some new surgeons took their turns "practicing" on me, hence the extra 2 hours.
The outcome according to the pathologist's report was great, the surgical margins were clean, the cancer was capsule-contained and the lymph nodes were negative for cancer cells.
If your surgeon has done quite a few (hundreds) regular lap procedures I think he would know what doing but if you are not comfortable you should ask him more questions. He may be working together with another surgeon who has a lot of experience with the da Vinci.
I've decided to have the traditional surgery. After reading thousands of testimonials, and doing hours of research there is one thing for sure when choosing ANY method:THE SKILL OF THE SURGEON IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR. You only get ONE shot at this. Ask your urologist if maybe you have time time to do just a little more research. Big hospital, experienced surgeon. Good luck. Dave
“The doc I had do mine had done over 1500 when he did mine. but because he did that many does that make him the best ? Some people do things numerous times and only get so good at it.”
And that’s a very good point. That’s why the advice from old hands in the prostate cancer business is that when choosing a surgeon or radiologist or anyone who is going to treat you, that you not only look at the number of procedures they have done, bit what the outcome was. Good doctors will be only too happy to share this data with you – if they don’t have it, or won’t share it, it is better to look for someone who will.