Darryl Baillie’s experience with the robotic prostatectomy is NOT uncommon
“Just over 3 years ago at the age of 54, I made worst health decision I have ever made. I was deceived by my surgeon and railroaded into choosing the expensive and overrated robotic prostatectomy for my lowrisk prostate cancer.
I sustained nearly all of the complications that are knowingly associated with this terrible operation despite my surgeon being listed as a socalled “approved” Da Vinci surgeon.
The complications to date have been:
· Urinary tract damage, obviously caused by bad catheterisation technique.
· Urinary tract infection,
· bladder infection,
· kidney infection,
· torn hip ligaments and pudendal nerve damage, caused by hanging head down at 25 degrees for an extended period and no doubt being poorly supported. I didn’t sign off on this information either!
· incisional hernia above my naval, my incision above my navel was 55 mm long. What ever happened to the 12 mm scars? AND I have 7 scars what about the advertised 5 scars?? Didn’t see this one coming!
· A continually rising PSA from <.01 post surgery increasing by .01 with all but 2 tests.
No credible explanation has been offered for this one. My second Urologist says micrometastatic cancer…. My third Urologist says, likely prostate tissue left behind, regrowing causing a PSA rise. I guess that means I am normal as over half the other robotic patients I know have it as well??
· And the latest complication from da Vinci robotic surgery, surgical clips migrating into my bladder. I am now recovering from yet another procedure in Oct 13 where one of the surgical clips had to be surgically removed. Not sure what we’ll do about the other clip that is bulging the bladder wall. Another one of the many complications I was not told about! How many clips are used you ask…. I have been informed 24 clips have been used and I paid for 24, one has to ask the question… what are the other 22 clips doing??
My urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction issues continue to be a major problem and I was warned about these complications and my results are very poor but as I understand from talking to many patients, very normal for prostate surgery.
My extreme disappointment with my surgical treatment and results were made much worse by all of the lies and deceit which I had been exposed to prior to, and after my surgery. Whilst struggling to overcome the many nasty surprises from this treatment, I began some research regarding the real postoperative course seen after radical prostate surgery as I believed I could not be the only sufferer.
Subsequently, I came across Dr. Bert Vorstman‘s (US Urologist in Florida) site with his prostate cancer articles and blogs, www.urologyweb.com In fact, his latest blog, “10 shocking fallacies and the prostate cancer surgery scam” accurately nails all of the real bad, but very common, risks concerning this radical/robotic prostatectomy. I know as I sustained a bunch of them. Many of the victims of this surgery will identify with this article very easily.
In addition, there are several other sites I came across in my research such as the US preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) paper on prostate cancer screening expressing the many grave concerns about PSA screening as well as the treatment methods for screen detected prostate cancer and the insignificant numbers of lives saved. Finding many US, class action lawsuits involving robotic prostatectomy was a real eye opener also. If prostate cancer surgery is that good (as the advertising suggests) why are there class action law suits? I know the robot is just a tool, but you as a patient would expect a better job with a specially designed tool with an already competent surgeon driving it?? If it is that hard for a specialist to work with it and produce a better job than by hand, then, is it the right tool for the job??
Unfortunately, there is absolutely no doubt that I was intentionally deceived by my physicians about the da Vinci robotic prostatectomy. Dr Vorstman’s reminders of the surgeon’s “embellished perceived benefits” ring loud and clear in my ears when I remember the “sell” used by my surgeon. If I had only done my research before letting me have a doctor steer me towards a scientifically unproven treatment, I would not be in the predicament I am in today.
I will never, ever advise any man to undergo a radical surgical/robotic prostatectomy, whether for low-risk or high-risk prostate cancer. All men really need to do their homework before jumping into this mutilating treatment.
This robotic prostatectomy surgery is far from being the “gold-standard” of prostate cancer treatment. The many complications associated with this treatment are for the most part, life long. Not only is this surgery very high-risk but, I have since learned that there are no significant life-saving benefits from this treatment. So why do urologists push such a treatment?
I will be reminded of my bad “choice” every day for the rest of my life and … I am sure fellow victims, know I am speaking from first hand experience.”