D. Cuddy

United States

In late December 2005, as a result of a PSA that had risen from 2.9 to 4.2 in 18 months, my internist referred me to a urologist who recommended that I have a biopsy.  In mid-January the urologist told my wife and me that the biopsy was positive.  He quickly reviewed the various treatment options, but recommended surgery because of my Gleason score of 6 (3 and 3), PSA of 4.2,  general good health, and age (57).  He also recommended a couple of books and told us we could take a month to research things well before we made a final decision on treatment.

It was pretty clear from our reading that surgery was the option that made the most sense, and that choosing an experienced surgeon was extremely important.  My wife went into action a day or two after we learned of the diagnosis, making phone calls, searching the internet, seeking the names of doctors from friends, relatives, and people we knew who worked in the medical field.  She was able to set up two consults within a couple of weeks.

I needed a few days to “regroup” before I was able to join her in that effort. A neighbor and close friend of ours, through her own medical contacts, had given us the name of Dr. David Samadi at New York Presbyterian.  I will always remember the phone call I made to him.  When Anna, his office manager, answered the phone, I asked if there was someone who could advise me regarding my situation and talk to me about setting up a consult, and Anna said to me, “Dr. Samadi is standing right here.  Would you like to talk to him?”  I was surprised to have such quick and easy access to Dr. Samadi, but the best part was that in just a minute or two he reassured me that I had great reason for optimism, and told me that he could meet with us in four days.

In our meeting he explained the robotic surgery and why I was an excellent candidate.  He discussed the difference in Robotic prostatectomy, laparoscopic prostatectomy and open surgery.  His journey to become a robotic surgery was interesting in the sense that he mastered open surgery before becoming a laparoscopic surgeon.   “That foundation is as important as being able to use the technology of robotics” he told me.  HHBecause I knew several guys who had very successful “open” surgery in the last few years, I needed a little convincing and reassurance that robotic surgery could offer the same or better results, and Dr. Samadi’s logical, clear explanations and confidence won me over.  Even though we had one more consult to do a week later at Sloan-Kettering, we made an appointment for the surgery before we left Dr. Samadi’s office.   During the time between our first meeting and the surgery, Dr. Samadi responded quickly to e-mail questions I sent him, and was available by cell phone as well.  His assistant, Anna, was equally helpful and responsive.

Everything went smoothly the day of my surgery.  The process of checking in was efficient and all members of the team– nurses, anesthesiologist, etc. introduced themselves, were friendly, caring, very competent, and totally respectful of me and my wife and son who were there with me.  I walked from the intake area into the OR with a nurse by my side, climbed onto the table, and the next thing I knew I woke up in the recovery room.

As predicted, I spent just one night in the hospital and was home by 11:30 AM the next day.  Though I was given a prescription for Vicodin, I never needed it and took only extra strength Tylenol to manage what little discomfort I had.   I returned to Dr. Samadi’s office five days later to have the catheter removed.  My post-op pathology report was not available that day, but Dr. Samadi called me with the results two days later, on a Friday evening at 5:30 PM from his car while he was on the way home rather than have me wait the weekend for the results.

I am experiencing some of the side effects that are common with prostate surgery but I’m confident that they are temporary.  My 30 day PSA came back as 0 which was great.  I feel very fortunate to have adequate health coverage, access to a great physician like Dr. Samadi, and such a loving partner, family and friends who have supported me.

D. Cuddy
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