Robotics Testimonials

In May 2015 I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 9 (4+5). Dr Dian Kirstein performed the biopsy, which was painless, and I had no ill effects from the procedure. As my prostate had to be removed, he referred me to Dr Lance Coetzee, where the various options were discussed. The added complication in my case was that I am a pancreatic cancer survivor who successfully underwent a “Whipple” operation in 2010 to remove a tumour from my pancreas. Unfortunately, I had to undergo further major abdominal surgery in 2014 to remove and repair a jejuno-colic fistula that had developed following radio therapy in 2010.

The major concern was whether I was a candidate for a robotic prostatectomy due to lesions, scar tissue etc which may have developed following the earlier surgical procedures. Removing my prostate robotically was “first prize” as it is a much less invasive procedure and quite frankly, was the preferred option given my Gleason score of 9.

We were extremely impressed with Dr Coetzee’s professionalism and totally dedicated approach to my specific case. I am pleased to report that he was able to get the robotic arms into my abdomen and thus able to perform a robotic prostatectomy. I underwent the operation on the afternoon of Saturday 6 June 2015, spent that night in intensive care, moved back into a general ward on the Sunday and was discharged on the Tuesday morning!

It was an amazing experience. I suffered no pain at all and have been active ever since. The staff – admissions, accounts office, cleaning, catering and in particular the nurses – at the Urology Hospital were top class. I certainly had no doubt that I was receiving the best possible care.

As a result of my extremely positive experience, I have no hesitation in recommending the Urology Hospital in Pretoria. Should anyone be a candidate for a robotic prostatectomy, I believe that they would be well advised to seek Dr Coetzee’s guidance and expertise.

(6 June 2015)

“I was referred to a specialist at The Urology Hospital by our family doctor because of an increasing PSA level. After some tests and a biopsy I was diagnosed with cancer of the prostate. During a routine visit to the doctor I was told about Robotic Surgery. This less invasive procedure appealed to me. I had a radical prostatectomy on the morning of 24 October, spent the afternoon and night in intensive care. The next day I was transferred to a ward and the 3rd day I was discharged from hospital. During my stay in hospital and after being discharged I experienced very little pain or discomfort.
It would appear to me that Robotic Surgery is less traumatic and therefore fast-tracked the healing and recovery process.”

(October 2014)

Met die wete dat my biopsie uitslag met ‘n 7 (3+4) gleason gradering ‘n radikale prostatektomie genoodsaak het, het ek verskeie bronne soos persone wat reeds die pad van radikale prostatektomiëe geloop het, internet; You Tube en ander mediese artikels, geraadpleeg om te probeer vasstel watter van die verskeie metodes vir my die aanvaarbaarste is.

My aanvanklike eerste keuse was die “Brachy therapy” metode en die “oop” chirurgiese prosedure as ‘n tweede keuse. Ek wou sover moontlik dinge soos pyn, ongerief, die moontlike verlies van liggaams funksies vermy en so vinnig as moontlik herstel om met my daaglikse aktiwiteite te kan voortgaan. Na ‘n gesprek met die uroloog in sake die Robot metode en die verdere raadpleging van eksterne bronne, het ek met die tersaaklike inligting tot my beskikking, op die (RGRP) metode besluit.

Met al hierdie inligting tot my beskikking en met die wete dat daar onmiddellik aandag aan my situasie gegee is, en dat daar ‘n baie goeie kans op volkome herstel is, is ek met ‘n oop gemoed en ‘n baie positiewe ingesteldheid hospitaal toe.

Die verloop van my prostatektomie was kortliks die volgende:
Ek is die Saterdagoggend geopereer waarna ek volgens normale voorsorg maatreëls oorgeplaas is na die intensiewe sorgeenheid. Die volgende ogggend is ek na ‘n gewone saal oorgeplaas en die Woensdag, die vierde dag ontslaan. Volgens die Uroloog en verpleegpersoneel het ek baie goed en baie gou herstel.

Ek is bevoorreg om vandat ek die teater – nou weke later – verlaat het, nog geen pyn of wesenlike ongerief ervaar het nie. “Dalk kom daar nog ‘n oplossing vir die noodsaaklike lastige kateter”?
Geen pyn en ongerief beteken nie jy klim flink in en uit die bed nie; jou bewegings is vereers versigtig om te voorkom dat daar dalk komplikasies kan wees. Die fisioterapeute wat my wou kom ondersteun om op te staan en te gaan stap na die operasie, het opgemerk dat ek so sterk en beweeglik is dat dit nie enigsins nodig was om my te help nie. Ek het tot op hede nie nodig gehad om enige addisionele pynstillers of slaappille te neem nie.

Ek het die dag van my ontslag uit die hospitaal alreeds vir kort tye by my lessenaar by die huis gesit en werk en soos nodig gaan lê. In die daaropvolgende week het ek byna heeltyds by my lessenaar gesit en werk en was reeds die derde week na die operasie terug op kantoor. Ek het na drie weke weer motor bestuur wat ek glo ek al kon gedoen het toe ek uit die hospitaal ontslaan is. Ek het egter getrou volgens die dokter en mediese personeel se voorskrifte gefunksioneer en my stil gedra, alhoewel ek gevoel het ek kan omtrent onmiddellik met my normale aktiwiteite voortgaan.

Drie weke na my operasie het ek oor ‘n periode van twee dae ongeveer 1500km na my vakansie bestemming gery – self bestuur sonder enige ongemak ten opsigte van die operatiewe prosedures. Ek het geswem en ‘n paar keer ongeveer 6 km op ‘n slag gaan stap. Nou na ongeveer sewe weke gaan ek gewoonweg aan met my normale aktiwiteite en dit voel steeds of ek nooit ‘n groot mediese chirurgiese ingreep gehad het nie. Ek is veral ook opgewonde dat ek onmiddellik goeie blaasbeheer gehad het wat my toelaat om met my daaglikse aktiwiteite aan te gaan. Ek is werklik opgewonde oor my ervaring met die Robot metode en die vinnige herstel wat ek gehad het.

(4 February 2013)

“This was the first time I had an operation and it was a very positive experience. I was operated on 25 November 2013. I think the operation took around 6 hours, I was in ICU for 1 day (other operations require a 3-day ICU stay) and I was discharged from hospital on the 3rd day! I was quite concerned that I would not be able to be active for a while after the operation as I am a very active person but I have had no major pain since the operation and I even went on a BMW Motorbike trip down to Mosselbay 3 weeks after my Robot Surgery. I would highly recommend this form of surgery.”
(25 November 2013)