Taking the Scare out of Prostate Cancer
I am a sixty-five year old male who was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. My tests scores indicated that this was not something that should wait but needed to be taken seriously and attended to quickly. I consulted with two leading Urologists in this field at major NYC hospitals, who came highly recommended by my doctor. Both doctors presented me with options for dealing with the prostate cancer that did not include prostate surgery. As I continued to do some research, I learned about the success of robotic prostate surgery, but now needed to find a trusted surgeon as the side effects of becoming incontinent and impotent could be permanent and devastating to a man. I decided that robotic prostate surgery would offer me the best outcome for removal of the prostate, being cancer free, with the least amount of side effects. I was warned that this surgery could not guarantee that I would be cancer free and could render me impotent and incontinent. The thought of being impotent at age 65 was very frightening to me, as frightening as having to deal with cancer.
In my research I came across Dr. David Samadi, Chair of Urology at Lenox Hill Hospital, who seemed to be the most experienced robotic surgeon in the country. I consulted with Dr. Samadi regarding the other options offered to me. Dr. Samadi explained that the options were considered new and experimental. He recommended robotic surgery to remove the prostate, which was quite enlarged and recommended that I did not wait but scheduled the surgery within a month of my visit. The case would be difficult due to my being overweight, but he assured me that he would personally conduct the surgery and would be there for me through the recovery process.
Being recently divorced and going through prostate surgery alone became even more frightening, as I had no life partner and now lived by myself. On the day of the surgery I was met at Lenox Hill Hospital at 5:30 AM by Dr. Samadi who escorted me into the OR. My closest living relative, a female cousin, accompanied me and was told to wait in my room as I went into the OR.
Upon completion of the surgery after 2-1/2 hours, while I was in recovery, I was told by my cousin that Dr. Samadi called personally to say that the surgery was successful in removing the cancer. The private room on the executive floor of the hospital, where Dr. Samadi’s patients and their families are made to feel very much at home, was equipped with a small refrigerator for beverages, cable televisions, and pull out beds for relatives spending the night. Each room had a robe and slippers with toiletry supplies ready for the patients and menus for visitors to order breakfast, lunch or dinner.
As I was wheeled toward my room from recovery on a gurney, I was told to stand and walk with assistance into the room. This is how Dr. Samadi began my recovery after surgery with confidence and reassurance. Thereafter, I walked the hall and was released the following afternoon. I was released to my home with a catheter to be removed in a few days and some minor discomfort. Other than that I felt well enough to go home.
My follow up visit with Dr. Samadi the following week showed that there were no side effects from the surgery – I was not incontinent or impotent as I had feared. I feel that I was given a new lease on life, being cancer free and not experiencing any of the devastating side effects that would make me feel less than a man. Healing from cancer requires a surgeon’s expert skill, along with some nurturing care. I was able to receive both at Lenox Hill.