Bernie, age 79, diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer

At age 79, I was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and referred by my urologist to Dr. David Samadi. Though leery of my status as a robotic surgery candidate, weeks later I sat before Dr. Samadi for an appointment I will never forget. With a reputation that precedes him, Dr. Samadi was described to me as a “magician” who “should wear a cape when he enters the room.” It felt imperative that he operate on me; my life depended on it.

During the appointment, my wife Marlene by my side, it was clear that Dr. Samadi saw me as a whole person, not just a 79 year old with aggressive prostate cancer. We talked about my lifestyle, my exercise routine, my sexual behavior and my overall health. I left that appointment with a surgery date on my calendar and a strong optimism about the procedure ahead.

Throughout the entire process Dr. Samadi’s team was remarkable. Tressa and Anna walked us through surgery preparation and invited us to call with any questions. We had questions, we called and they were always answered with warmth, understanding and respect.

The big day, June 27th, finally arrived with an early start. During the procedure, the anesthesiologist was by my side and Dr. Samadi was seated a short distance away at the robot. Though very anxious, I was quickly put at ease by Dr. Samadi’s entertaining bedside manner. In the OR he shared that he and his wife had just heard the song, “That’s Amore” the night before. As he began to sing, the anesthesiologist and I joined in and before I knew it the surgery was over and I was in recovery.

My surgery required an overnight stay in the hospital where my wife and I were given a private room. I had very little post-operative pain and was walking within hours after the procedure. My discomfort was easily managed with Tylenol. The most uncomfortable part of my recovery was the catheter that stayed with me for eight days. Even still, I was able to cook for my family and recover comfortably at home. Shortly after my catheter was removed I experienced a small bump on my road to recovery, a urinary tract infection. After a second catheter for less than a week I was incident free.

For about a month and a half after surgery I experienced some minor incontinence that was easily managed by occasionally wearing a pad for men, mostly during the night. My wife and I resumed sexual activity and though things are somewhat different, there is every indication that it will soon be a normal enjoyment. I am exercising regularly with light workouts three to five times a week.

During my recovery, Ann, one of Dr. Samadi’s assistants, suggested I buy Marlene some jewelry to show my appreciation for her dedicated post-op care; I took her advice. Just six weeks after surgery I got a present of my own – a near-zero PSA level.

Marlene and I are now looking forward to living our normal, happy and very busy lives. We are forever grateful to the “magician” Dr. Samadi, his life-saving robotic surgery and his willingness to look beyond my age and treat me as a whole patient.