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Patients speak about prostate cancer and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy

Sidney Wright, Fort Worth, Texas

The day after my laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, I drove myself home from the hospital.

For several years since turning 50, I have gone for free annual prostate cancer screening provided by Dallas/Ft. Worth area hospitals. Last September, I went to Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. I did not have any symptoms or complaints, so I assumed that the results would be negative, as in previous years. However, I was told by the examining physician that he had detected a nodule on the digital rectal exam and he referred me to a urologist for further diagnosis, saying that it was not an emergency but something that I should not delay. The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test result came in a week and it was high at 4.08.I was examined by a urologist in Ft. Worth where I live, and he confirmed the presence of the nodule; PSA results were similarly high to the Dallas test. I had a biopsy in October, the results showing 2 of 13 cores positive for cancer; a Gleason score of 3+4=7, and stage T2a. I discussed the option of radical retropubic prostatectomy with my urologist, and external beam combined with brachytherapy radiation treatment with a radiation oncologist. I would have chosen the latter, desiring the least invasive treatment, but I found that I would lose the future treatment option of surgery by having the radiation therapy first. Therefore, surgery was my first choice.

Through family and friends, as well as an Internet prostate cancer support group message board, I learned about laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP), which offered the most aggressive surgery in the least invasive way, giving the patient the benefits of little loss of blood, no need for blood transfusions, significantly less pain and trauma from the procedure, quicker release from the hospital, and faster recovery time.Also through family and friends, I discovered that Dr. Krongrad was the man who brought the LRP to the United States, that he had a long-standing interest in prostate cancer, and, perhaps most importantly, that he had performed LRP on other men from Texas, some of whom I spoke with. I then found that my insurance covered the laparoscopic procedure. After contact with the doctor and a visit to this web site, I gained considerable understanding of the procedure and the background of the doctor who would be doing it. I had surgery on December 3rd, and was discharged from the hospital the morning of the 4th. My wife could not be with me in Florida, so I drove my rental car back to the motel by myself. After an overnight stay at the motel, I again drove my rental, this time to the airport and flew back to Dallas.

It's remarkable that the worst part about the entire matter was the catheter. The postoperative pathology report showed the Gleason score still at 3+4=7, stage T2b, the cancer invading both lobes and the capsule wall, but clear or negative margins, indicating that the cancer was still inside the capsule.I consider myself to be very blessed in this entire matter: first, that the cancer was detected early, secondly, that I received the best treatment in the best approach, and finally, that I found a very well-qualified doctor who is vitally interested in advancing technology which results in increased benefits to patients. Clearly, I am most fortunate that the cancer had not spread and that at 58, my future is likely to be free of further involvement.

I would not hesitate to recommend LRP to any man who finds he has need for treatment. Thank you, Dr. Krongrad, for an excellent outcome, for a virtually painless recovery, and for your concern for me.
Sidney Wright - Texas