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Francesco Leopardi M. – 55 years old

“… On behalf of my wife and myself, we express our greater sense of appreciation and affection from the bottom of our hearts for letting go ahead with our beautiful married life, through this successful operation.. ”

  • Country: Estado Anzoátegui – Venezuela
  • Pathology: Prostate cancer
  • Procedure: Robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy
  • Date: January 2015.

I’d address such a distinguished and excellent professionals, especially Dr. Rene Sotelo and his wonderful team: Luis Hernandez, Elias Fernandez, Leonardo Brunacci, Nelson Ramirez and Oscar Martin, all holders of these valuable gifts that characterize: great professionalism, ethics and a true human quality. All of them represent the branch of medicine of Urology at Unit Urology in Clínica La FLoresta, so on behalf of my wife and myself, both parents of two wonderful children and with nearly 30 years marriage, we express our greater sense of appreciation and affection from the bottom of our hearts for letting go ahead with our beautiful married life, through this successful operation. We received from you a great deal together to Dr. Alexis Sánchez, in addition to its administrative department: Zaida , María Auxiliadora, and Sary, and all of accommodation equipment in its peaceful and comfortable hostel and nursing staff represented by Ms. Ana Regino. Thank You! Really, thank you very much for those attentions which made us feel so special and like part of a family. Therefore, we wish to continue successes throughout their careers; people like you is what our nation needs Venezuela, both inside and outside. Francesco Leopardi M and María Conchita de Leopardi

Humberto Elías – Sexuality after 50 years

“…My sexual activity was activated again, without noticing any difference whatsoever, regarding my previous life. I feel that the decision I made was the right one … ”

  • Pathology: Prostate – Prostate Cancer
  • Procedure: Radical Prostatectomy Laparoscopy Assisted By Robot
  • Surgery date: November 29,2010
For 20 years I had been monitoring my prostate until the antigen had rates that suggested a biopsy. The result showed prostatic hyperplasia, prostate carcinoma. What to do? I consulted a friend, a medical radiologist in the United States. He is currently director of a cancer center in Michigan. After studying my case, and several options, including robotic surgery, radiation, brachytherapy and Cyber knife, each associated with their advantages and disadvantages, I decided on robotic surgery. I thought that with it, I would get an immediate response and the safest solution for my problem. Where to have the operation, here in my country or abroad? Having had a meeting with Dr. Rene Sotelo, I made the decision to have the surgery in my country. The choice of the United States, was not unlike that offered me at CIMI and here I had the advantage of being in my own environment, with my family, my friends and my doctors. The results of the intervention could not have been better. At night I got up from the bed and walked, the next day I was discharged. The post operative discomfort was insignificant. Four days later the drain was removed and that same day I returned to work. A short while after the probe was removed I had almost total control of my urination (pre-operative exercises of the pelvic floor, are very important) and within forty-eight hours my sexual activity was fully activated again without noticing any difference whatsoever, compared to my previous life. I feel that the decision I made was the right one and the results are so spectacular, they have led me to henceforth affectionately call my esteemed, Doctor Rene Sotelo, Doctor Marvelous. And if there is anything I can contribute, it is to recommend to all, continuous monitoring of your prostate after forty years old, and when the disease is present, take the decisions quickly and in time, as this will save your lives.

Antonio Rodríguez González – Do not be afraid of the prostate exam

“…No man should be afraid to have his annual prostate exam, thanks to this I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and thanks to the surgery by Dr. Sotelo, today I do not have cancer …”

  • Pathology: Prostate – Prostate Cancer
  • Procedure: Radical prostatectomy robot-assisted laparoscopy
  • Surgery Date: October 15, 2010
The dreaded biopsy. I have to say that having it turned out to be far less traumatic than I had read on the internet, as I mentioned, magnifying my terror. No man should be afraid to have his annual prostate exam. Thanks to this I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and thanks to the excellent recommendation and surgery by Dr. Sotelo, today I do not have cancer. I can say that I had no symptoms. I do my urological check annually. PSA was high, that’s where the terror and my fear began and I started to investigate and search the internet and consult doctors until I finally came to Dr. Sotelo, who correctly explained my problem to me and the actions that should be taken in my case. The first was my biopsy to find out if I had cancer. I confess that this examination terrified me because of what I had read online at the website of the Colombian doctor. Dr. Sotelo patiently explained everything about the biopsy and dispelled my fear. I have to say that the performance of the biopsy proved to be far less traumatic than I had read on the internet, as I mentioned, magnifying my terror. The same day of the biopsy you are operational and the expected result was “prostate cancer”. Dr. Sotelo gave me hope and explained to me the options for my problem with their pros and cons. Some were palliative and the only curative was radical prostatectomy. I made that decision. The day of the surgery with the Da Vinci robot arrived. Thanks to being in expert hands, today I have no cancer. The recovery was very fast, the 2nd. day I went home, walking by myself towards my normal activities, so much so that 12 days after they took out the probe I had to go to meetings at work without problems and in the 4th week I was swimming and going on with my personal and professional activity in a completely normal way. Throughout this process the human part of the medical team who treated me had a great influence. They provide a first rate service, with 24 hour care, dealing with all my doubts and queries in a very expert manner and very importantly, efficiently, immediately and politely. My recovery has been excellent ! My friend, I repeat, do not fear the “biopsy”.

Brothers with Prostate Cancer

“…Today I took the Prostate Specific Antigen test and I am completely healed, have no side effects, I feel nothing and I am grateful to the services of the clinic …”

  • Pathology: Prostate Cancer
  • Procedure: Radical prostatectomy robot-assisted laparoscopy
  • Surgery Date: August 7, 2009 and June 29, 2009 respectively
“We are the Roman brother, Federico and Jorge. I am Jorge, the oldest, and I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 5 months ago. 4 months ago I went to the Instituto Medico La Floresta. I underwent surgery by Dr. Rene Sotelo and his valuable team with the help of the Da Vinci Robot and my recovery has been successful. Today I took the Prostate Specific Antigen test and I am fully healed. I have no side effects. I feel nothing and I am grateful to the services of the clinic. I am Federico, the youngest, and I was diagnosed with prostate cancer seven months ago. I went to the La Floresta Medical Institute with Dr. Sotelo and his valuable team for treatment and they operated on me 120 days ago. Today I am fully cured and the antigen in the prostate postoperative is zero. We express our gratitude to this great medical team and confirm that it has fulfilled the saying that “cancer is curable if diagnosed in time.”

Diógenes Rivas – Loss of quality of life and quality incontinence

 “…In my view this robotic technique is priceless, after all health cannot be left to chance …”

  • Pathology: Prostate – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
  • Procedure: Radical prostatectomy robot-assisted laparoscopy
  • Surgery date: January 25, 2010
Doctor Sotelo. What better time to express my eternal gratitude, to evoke the brilliant Leonardo da Vinci robotic prostate surgery you performed on me a few months ago, and from which I recovered in a surprisingly short time, without consequences of any kind. However, I cannot help but describe my awe when I personally know of other cases of similar operations on friends and acquaintances, operated on with the techniques of traditional surgery, who have experienced the catastrophe, if only we think of the loss of the quality of life from male incontinence and male diminished capacity caused by the protagonists of reckless or unwise decisions. Every day I do not cease to wonder at my good fortune, for I have the feeling of not having undergone any operation. In my view this robotic technique is priceless, after all health cannot be left to chance. To be aware of the latest developments and techniques in medicine is dazzling, and more so if you have experienced it firsthand. have lived close to a miracle, knowing the high conscientiousness of Doctor René Sotelo as a surgeon. Although I have no words to thank your expertise, I cannot fail to express my best wishes for the continuation of your illustrious career in the service of humanity. Diógenes Rivas.

Tinedo Guia

“… The prostate exam key step to beat prostate cancer …”

  • Pathology: Prostate – Prostate Cancer
  • Procedure: Radical Prostatectomy Laparoscopy Assisted By Robot
  • Surgery Date: January 14, 2010

The word cancer is one of those words, we want to keep as far as possible from our lives, but … what do we do so that it does not resonate in our ears like a catastrophe? When the diagnosis after a biopsy is that, we ask, why me? because in my case, I said, I have a family history of the disease, and I have to face it. I was a sure candidate. For that reason, I had my annual general medical checkup, which is commonly known as a Tutorial, consisting of the prostate exam, digital rectal examination, echo and antigen. The figures from the laboratory test showed that I had to have prostate samples to approximate the degree of growth of prostate ADC. With this data, Dr. Rene Sotelo determined that a radical prostatectomy was necessary. The decision was taken, intervention with minimally invasive robotic surgery at the La Floresta Medical Institute, with the medical team led by Dr. Sotelo, really the best hands that I could put myself in, because of their professionalism and the great experience they have in this type of surgery. Today I can properly say that the early diagnosis made it possible to eradicate the prostate adenocarcinoma I had and that recovery in just three weeks after surgery has returned me to my daily work. Following to the letter the medical recommendations, I am recovering all my normal male physiological functions. To my male friends who read this testimony I recommend the prostate exam to beat the silent disease of the prostate and for just that condition the ladies should insist with your partner on screening for this disease. I am cured and I thank my God for putting me in the path of an eminence in the field of robotic minimally invasive medicine in the specialty of Urology, Dr. Rene Sotelo. My eternal gratitude to him and his team of highly trained physicians.

Enrique Ortega – Early Recovery

“…Choosing the best option …”

  • Pathology:  Prostate – Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Procedure: Simple Prostatectomy with robot-assisted laparoscopy
  • Surgery Date: December 5, 2010

“The operation had no problems. I was hospitalized for two days. I kept idle without leaving my house. On the ninth day the probe was removed, I urinated well and went home ” “For many years I have had my prostate checked. When I was 20 I already was in anti-cancer clinical screening, which included the digital rectal examination. I was working with a group of women and we did the testing together, because the clinic was three blocks from work” The DRE has always been somewhat uncomfortable (like a shot), but I knew I always had to do it. Over 10 years ago I was diagnosed with evolving benign hyperplasia. I did not get up at night to urinate but the flow was not satisfactory, especially in the mornings. When I was at work it improved. When drinking in a meeting the flow was minimal; I had a strong urge but when I got to the bathroom, hardly anything came out. One morning at 2:30 am, after a meeting, I had to urinate and could not do it. The pain was intense, getting worse. Not wanting to upset my family, I waited until 4:30 am. They took me to a clinic and immediately put in a probe. Two days later I went to see my urologist and he told me to leave the tube in for a few days. The episode was repeated and after the second time, the doctor said I should have surgery and chose the doctor and the method. He was very honest in telling me that he operated with the open conventional method and that I should chose. My first visit was with Dr. Rene Sotelo (my brother knows him well and had always told me about him and Da Vinci). Then I made further inquiries to find out other surgical alternatives. Doctor Sotelo sent me to do a biopsy of the prostate. The result was inconclusive. Then I was sent to another institution for further study which really was not very conclusive either. I had an open conversation with Dr. Sotelo and, thanks to the strength of his arguments about other methods, because of the reasonable doubts about the results of the biopsy and the convenience of Da Vinci, I made the decision to have him do the surgery. The operation had no problems. I was hospitalized for two days. I kept idle without leaving my house. On the ninth day the probe was removed, I urinated well and went home. I did the exercises he showed me and the rest continued with some incontinence (which is normal). After 15 days I could already drive short distances but I did not abuse. I continued the rest at home, I went to some meetings nearby, but returned early, the body itself was asking me to do so. After 30 days I took the PSA test and the next day I went to the consultation with Dr. Sotelo. He asked a few questions and told me I could lead my normal life. I have had successful relations and I played tennis, which is the sport that I practice. I must stress that I always had the support of the CIMI team 24 hours a day. ”

Miguel Montenegro – Ciclyst

“… Urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Would I be able to recover, me, 100% ?. Yes, my recovery has been extraordinary and fast from the moment I left the operating room …”

  • Pathology: Prostate
  • Procedure: Radical Prostatectomy Laparoscopy Assisted By Rob
  • Surgery Date: January 29, 2011
I wondered to hear other testimonies on the operation. If the recovery was really as fast as the others said, without side effects, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. It’s been 11 days since I had the prostate surgery. One of the things I asked when I heard other testimonies about the operation was whether the recovery was really as fast as the others said, without side effects, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Would I be able to recover, me, 100%?. Yes, my recovery has been extraordinary and fast from the moment I left the operating room. I only had five small scars on my stomach plus a drain coming out of my right side which did not bother me at any time. I should mention that there was always someone from the team of Dr. Sotelo monitoring my operation and recovery from the first moment, and they talked about how clean, neat and successful it was. The next day I was already walking and even better because they had signed my discharge order, they had released me. The doctor’s orders, clear and simple, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and gastric protector, were the only things prescribed for me besides walking, drink plenty of water and watch the color and drain level of the urine and cleanse the wound with soap and water only . Dr. Sotelo and his team were always in contact with me and, given my rapid recovery, decided to remove the drain on the fourth day after surgery. ¿Did it hurt to take out my drain? They only said take a deep breath and then I realized it was already out, zero pain. Of course then came the question of how the scar would close and how we were going to clean it. Well the answer was: It will heal itself and is cleaned with soap and water. On the 10th day I was able to control the urine immediately. I can say that my sexual activity has recovered without any problem and I am exercising as recommended by Dr. Sotelo. To conclude, the only thing left is to wait for the stitches to come out since I have not had any problems with the small wounds, and to start again with my daily routine of work and exercise. I am a cyclist and I want to resume my activity. I will be increasing it gradually.

Franklin Montes

Joaquin Urdaneta

“… 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 !!!