Rita D.

United States

We live in Los Angeles, CA. It is now March 2009. Due to the fact that my fiancee has been having continuous prostate problems with unsuccessful results, his urologist recommended a biopsy. Today, the results were not the ones we wanted to hear. He was told not only that he has prostate cancer but that the cancer he has is an aggressive type. We were told to contact UCLA in order to schedule for a surgery to remove his prostate.

We called UCLA and scheduled an appointment with a Urologist. Our appointment was for mid June and so we went that day to see him. The Urologist that we had an appointment with, seemed to have a big personality ego with an attitude on his sleeve. Considering the circumstances, we decided to put our thoughts and feelings aside in order to better deal with the situation. He told us that he would be performing the da Vinci Robotic Prostatectomy and based on our meeting and the urgency of the situation, we scheduled the surgery for the week of Thanksgiving 2009.

The day of the surgery things happened as expected up until the point of the surgery. He was given anesthesia and taken into the surgery room. About one hour after they had already started, the physician performing the surgery called me to let me know he was canceling the surgery due to extensive scar tissue caused by a couple of inguinal hernias my fiancée had many years before. He further explained that he had tried many times to continue with the surgery yet it was impossible and later as he came out of the surgery room, he explained to me that his only other option was to have radiation and hormone treatment. My fiancée had had all the cuts needed for this surgery but nothing was taken out of him. He still had the cancer.

We were disappointed and angry and on the very next day, when we went back home. I started researching for the best urologist in the US to perform the same kind of procedure. Everywhere I went on the net, Dr. David Samadi’s name showed up. The comments were not just good, they were very comforting and gave us the hope that maybe “he” could do something about this.

We were already scheduled to see the Urologist who attempted to do the surgery to remove the stitches for an unsuccessful attempt. Upon our arrival, again we had the same feeling as if he is just too irritated to be there. He began to tell us that Joel’s only other option was radiation and hormone treatment. We decided to let him know that we wanted to get a second opinion. He was beyond himself. He got angry and told us that “he was the best” and that if somebody out there was telling us that they could do the surgery and we were to accept that, that we were pretty much fools. We did not let him bother our decision.

The next day, I called Dr. David Samadi’s office in New York. His then assistant Vicky was very nice and professional. She told me she would have Dr. Samadi called me upon his return from surgery. Indeed, he called. I was just astonished. His reputation was so impressive and most the time, physicians with that distinguished level do not want to bother in returning calls. They tend to have someone else called. Not this time. It was Dr. Samadi himself wanting to speak with both of us to find out exactly what we needed and how he could help us.

We explained the situation and after finishing talking to him, decided to travel there to meet him in person. Our experience there was just as good or better and we felt very strong on the decision to have him perform this surgery.

I understand that a lot of people may feel that traveling across the country is not exactly what they can do but I will say that sometimes things are worth the effort.

We scheduled the surgery for the month of February 2010. Considering that this surgery had once been cancelled, Dr. Samadi wanted to be sure that Joel’s surgery was the first of the day in case it would require a longer process.

Mount Sinai’s personnel again, very warm and friendly, Just like Dr. Samadi’s office personnel. They checked us in and after going through the normal pre-op and registration, soon after Dr. Samadi came and met with us, off Joel went to have his surgery done.

It was a very long surgery – I will add something. When the previous Urologist was performing the surgery, I was frightened. I do not know why but actually when he called me to let me know the surgery could not be completed, I was relieved. This time, I felt peace the whole time. I felt absolute no concern. I knew deep in my heart that things were going to work just fine. The surgery lasted forever and then there was a call. It was one of Dr. Samadi’s surgeons letting me know that Dr. Samadi was still working on Joel but that things were going ok. Then later Dr Samadi called me to let me know that Joel’s prostate was now out. He, Dr. Samadi, explained that it had been a long surgery – perhaps one of his most difficult ones but that Joel was out and that was all I could care.

Joel goes for check up every 3 months and so far each and every time, his PSA is 0. No chemo was ever needed and of course no radiation or hormone treatment was done. There was almost no incontinence.

Dr. Samadi was a true hero in this story. I love him for what he did and would recommend him to anyone who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Rita D.
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