I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and scheduled for surgery in December 2010. My surgeon is a young guy and highly experienced with the Da Vinci robotic surgery system.
Only a couple of hospitals in Central New York have this cutting-edge (no pun intended) technology, and he performs prostatectomies at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse.
There are some well-defined stages leading up to the actual surgery. In order to be cleared for surgery, my primary care physician had to certify that I was a good candidate. This is based on a number of factors, such as age, current physical condition, illnesses or diseases, etc. I passed with flying colors.
I’ll now take you through the steps, all of which occurred at St. Joseph’s Hospital:
Pre-Op Admission Testing
The waiting room was very pleasant and comfortable. Even though my wife and I arrived early, I was seen within minutes of signing in. A friendly woman efficiently gathered my insurance information, health care proxy, etc. and answered all my questions. I was then taken to an exam room, and was interviewed by a pharmacy rep, lab tech, physician assistant, etc.
Various bodily fluids were gathered and we were out of there within an hour or so since our arrival.
Admission & Pre-Op
On the day of surgery, I was officially admitted to the hospital and taken to a private waiting room and prepped for surgery by a friendly, professional RN. She answered my questions and addressed any concerns I had and put me at ease.
I was then taken up to the surgical “induction” room, where each member of the surgical team discussed what they’d be doing and also answered any questions I had. I was given Versed, a sedative, and then I didn’t remember anything until after the surgery.
Dr. Salzhauer, my surgeon, removed my prostate during the two and half hour surgery via the Da Vinci robotic system. This state of the art machine allows him to be seated at a console, operating the surgical knives away from the operating table. It affords the surgeon much better visualization of the site and very fine hand control during surgery. To illustrate the awesome benefits, I was out of surgery and in my semi-private room for only twenty hours. The conventional prostatectomy usually involves a five day stay in the hospital. My estimated blood loss was only 200 cc, vs. the normal pints of blood lost.
Post-Op Recovery and Hospital Care
From the time I was in the post-op recovery room to my discharge the next day, there wasn’t one member of the St. Joseph Hospital staff that wasn’t caring, friendly, efficient or professional. They pride themselves on putting the patient first and a caring attitude is their hallmark. This was my first surgery and I don’t hesitate to recommend this fantastic hospital.