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Patients speak about prostate cancer and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy

Bruce Eells, San Antonio, Texas

On Dec 31 2001, my urologist summoned me and my wife to his office to advise us of the prostate biopsy results taken a week before. The news was what every man dreads: I had prostate cancer!

Approaching my 57th birthday, this certainly was not news any man wants to hear or expects. I was assailed with concepts I was heretofore unfamiliar with: cores positive, prostate PSA tests, Gleason score, T stage. To add further horror to the situation we discussed the options for treatment and elimination of the cancer: radical invasive prostate cancer surgery with lengthy recovery, chemotherapy with lengthy treatments and associated risks, radiation therapy with similar recovery time, side effects and risks, and even freezing treatments with little-known success rates. I was advised that even with second opinions my treatment options would not change.

With extensive research, learning, and with the help of my RN sister (Nurse Ratchet) and primary care physician, I found myself in contact with Dr. Krongrad and a procedure known as laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, LRP. To my dismay there were precious few urologists in both the San Antonio and Houston medical communities that were even aware of this procedure.

I called Dr. Krongrad's office and was greeted by Ruth. Her initial "Don't worry, we are here to help you" flipped the switch and gave me confidence. Ruth was involved, direct, caring, and just plain awesome, helping me with every aspect of my questions, apprehensions and arrangements. Within a matter of weeks I was on my way to Miami.

Upon meeting Dr. Arnon and Ruth I felt special throughout the entire process. My care was foremost! I entered the hospital on a Wednesday morning, was up and walking by midnight with no pain or discomfort. Dr. Arnon was at my bedside at sun-up Thursday and I was released that morning. One day of rest at the hotel, a visit by the doctor at the hotel, and I was ready to return home! Dr. Krongrad's expertise is only exceeded by his excellent bedside manner.

I was back to work within a week of the procedure. Catheter removed nine days after procedure. 30 days after, followup check revealed my PSA at 0.1 and I was at 99% continence!

My heartfelt thanks and appreciation of Dr. Arnon and Ruth will never leave me, as they are true healing angels.

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It began with one of those prostate PSA tests.