“… See you tomorrow at 3 pm…” “… I knew I was in the good hands that move the Robot …”
- Pathology: Prostate – Prostate Cancer
- Procedure: Radical Prostatectomy Laparoscopy Assisted By Robot
- Surgery Date: May 19, 2010
My name is Joaquin Urdaneta. I am 43 years old, married to Rina Segovia for 11 years and have two children, Maria Joaquina 7 years and Eduardo Mathias, 6 months. I’m from Maracaibo but have been living in Puerto La Cruz for 10 years. In my family there is a history of prostate cancer for my dad and my uncles. The disease was detected in my dad when it was already very advanced and he died 7 years ago. Because of what my dad lived through, I started to have the PSA exam when I was 40 and it was normal; however for 2 years I did not do the examination until December 2009. Because of work, I took the exam again. When I got the results, I noticed it had the value above the maximum of 4.7. I informed my wife and sister who is a doctor. As in December my son was born and then came Christmas, it was not until the end of January when I went to a urologist at the insistence and pressure from my wife and sister.
In consultation with the urologist, I repeated the antigen test, in addition to the tactile examination, where a little growth of the prostate could be felt. Repeating the test in another laboratory, this resulted in a higher value, 5.8. With this result the Doctor gave me an order and referred me to another urologist to do a Transrectal Echogram and take a biopsy for analysis, given my family history. This procedure was performed on March 13, when 12 samples were taken and the Echogram. This was not painful because I was sedated. The results of the pathological analysis, delivered on May 3, showed me there was something wrong, a Mucososecretor Adenocarcinoma. The urologist told me that my alternative was a surgery called radical prostatectomy. He said that with the conventional procedure, open surgery, there is no guarantee that the nerves or bundles are retained, plus the recovery was slow. He told me that if I were operated on in Puerto La Cruz the procedure would be the normal open surgery, but he recommended that for my age, I should go to Caracas where there were other techniques such as laparoscopy and even the Robot. For me all this explanation echoed in my mind, but was not assimilated because of the speed at which my thoughts were running as the doctor spoke. When I got home and broke the news to my wife and sister, there was some inertia as we assimilated the news, but then we began to contact people we knew and ask about any known urological surgeon in Caracas they could recommend. In the midst of my search they started started to talk to me about alternative treatments such as brachytherapy or green laser, until a gastroenterologist brother of a friend recommended Dr. René Sotelo. Then through internet I got information about Dr. Sotelo. That’s when I saw the famous robot and learned about the benefits of this procedure, in addition to learning about the experience of Dr. Sotelo. It was Wednesday May 5, when my wife called CIMI to make an appointment with Dr. René. The meeting was scheduled for May 21. It seemed very far away, I felt I had no time to lose because I had already lost so much. Taking advantage of that week, on Thursday 6 had to go to Caracas, I decided to write an email directly to the doctor explaining my situation, diagnosis, age, family history, place of residence and also sent him a text message to his phone indicating that he had a written email. To my surprise he immediately responded to both saying these words, “See you tomorrow at 3pm”! . The procedure was a Radical Robot-assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy and was carried out on May 19, 2010. To me all the sensations were new since I had never undergone an operation. I felt no pain coming out of it, however at night and the next day I had a lot of flatulence and this caused me some discomfort, but by walking, it slowly went away. I spent a few days in the hotel the care of my wife and sister until Dr. Saavedra withdrew the drain and told me I could go home. There the recovery was rapid and painless. After 12 days the probe was removed. For the moment, I understand that conditions are normal considering that the procedure was just a month ago, however, through the exercises I am quickly regaining continence and erections. On Friday June 4, I got the results of my prostate pathology analysis and all the tests were negative. God gave me a new opportunity to move ahead. I thank my family, especially my wife, and sister-in-law and friends who accompanied me with their positive energy and prayers. Also, I appreciate the gesture of Dr. Sotelo to take interest in my case, for his responses and communications. These were details I appreciate and value. He gave me great confidence with his explanation of my case, and the confidence to know that besides being in the hands of God, I was in the good hands that move the Robot. I cannot sufficiently thank a person who was very professional in his work, who was always concerned about my case. This gave me courage and confidence. Thanks Zaida Landaeta. Besides doctors Oswaldo Carmona, Luis Novelo and José Gregorio Saavedra, anesthesiologist. Dr. Avendaño and all the medical team that was involved in my operation, the medical fellows and principal doctors, thank you all very much !!!