Saturday, March 8, 2014

Travels around my prostate #3

Written 8 March 2014

The operation was set for Tuesday 4 March.  Normally there is a 6 week to 3 month wait however I had told Kris Rasiah, my urologist, that I wanted to fly out of Australia on 26 May to attend my nephew’s wedding in California.  He managed to get a slot on the Robot machine at the SAN hospital in North West Sydney on 4 March so the date was set.

Also I had been recommend to go to Stuart Baptist prior to the operation to learn how to Kegel exercises – improving your pelvic floor muscles.  I saw him Friday 21 February and was very impressed.  He also told me that Kris Rasiah trained under Phillip Stricker (the name in Sydney) for several years and was his assistant.  When Rasiah decided to go out on his own Stricker was pulling his hair out to get as good a replacement.  This was comforting.

Having now watched the DVD they give you about the operation and learned about more nerve sparing as part of the benefits I did call Kris and said how about sparing the nerves. 

He first said that there were 3 objectives with a prostatectomy:
1.      Removal of any cancer
2.      Reducing the risk of incontinence
3.      Reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction.
In my case as I was 69 and obviously had had a good life the third objective was very low priority.

He then rang up and suggested another scan an MRI which again normally takes about 3-4 weeks to schedule but he found a slot in Randiwick (South Sydney) at 8am on Friday 28 Feb.  The scan came back that the cancer was localised on the right hand side of the prostate so Kris decided to keep the lymph nodes and nerves on the right. 

The operation was about six hours and started at 2pm.  My only two memories were the anaesthetist having difficulty inserting the canula in a big enough vein and meeting the back-up surgeon about 5 minutes going in who turned out to be some absolute gun who had done prostatectomies in Los Angeles, Paris, London etc at all the top hospitals.  My wife got a phone call at 9pm saying that it had gone very well.

The drawback of the robotic surgery is that they fill you with gas and it takes about 24 hours for the body to expel it.  It is a relatively painful experience but does pass.

The hospital was terrific.  I was in a private room right at the end of the corridor which was very quiet.  Vivienne could not believe how quiet it was and said Louisa would be so jealous.  She had our first granddaughter three weeks earlier and was in a private room between two squalling babies and had little sleep.  The nurses were great – I was impressed with the SAN.

Anyway we left the hospital on Friday catheter attached which comes out next Thursday.

This morning I had a phone call from Kris Rasiah who was particularly jubilant.

I have fantastic news.  The cancer was big 4.7cc and we regard over 2cc as large.  However it was localised on the right hand side but had not broken the capsule.  The dissection of the right hand lymph nodes showed no cancer present so the strategy of leaving the left lymph nodes and nerves alone was perfect.  On the other hand I am so glad we operated now as the cancer was bigger than any of us expected.  You could not have better news.

No comments:

Post a Comment