|Hans Peters is living proof of the importance of regular prostate cancer screenings.|
The 58-year-old home improvement contractor from Shelton had always tried to stay fit by exercising and eating healthy meals. In 2008, screenings by his doctor, including blood tests, revealed an increase in his PSA level. Rising PSA—prostate-specific antigen—is a warning sign of prostate cancer.
For two years, biopsies (tissue samples) of Hans’ prostate came back negative for cancer. Then, in November 2010, his PSA level shot up dramatically and subsequent testing confirmed that Hans had cancer.
Hans’ urologist, Nicholas Viner, MD, recommended surgery to remove the cancerous prostate gland and referred Hans to fellow urologist Edward Paraiso, MD, one of Bridgeport Hospital’s most experienced practitioners of minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery.
“He made me feel very comfortable from the get go,” Hans says about Dr. Paraiso. “I told myself that this was the doctor I wanted to perform my surgery.”
Add to that the fact that Bridgeport Hospital’s robot-assisted surgery team has performed more than 1,000 procedures—the most of any hospital in Fairfield County.
Hans checked into Bridgeport Hospital for his surgery on Feb. 17. Using the da Vinci “S” robotic surgery system, with its highly flexible mechanical arms, miniature instruments and sophisticated three-dimensional imaging technology, Dr. Paraiso made just a few tiny incisions and gently removed Hans’ cancerous prostate.
“A successful prostate surgery gets the cancer out and preserves potency and continence,” Dr. Paraiso explains. “In addition, patients who undergo robot-assisted surgery generally regain full continence in half the time than patients who have traditional prostate cancer surgery.”
Hans left the hospital the next day.
“Dr. Paraiso told me the sooner I started walking, the better I’d recover,” Hans recalls.
Within a week of leaving the hospital, he was walking a mile a day. Within four weeks, he was walking five miles. Within six weeks, he was jogging again. In addition, Dr. Paraiso notes that Hans’ potency and continence were restored relatively soon after his operation.
“I’m glad I worked with my doctor to watch out for prostate cancer warning signs,” Hans says. “It’s something that every man should do. And I’m glad that I chose robot-assisted surgery at Bridgeport Hospital as the solution to my cancer.”
In addition to prostate cancer, physicians at Bridgeport Hospital use the da Vinci robotic surgery system to treat bladder, renal and colorectal cancers as well as gynecological conditions. For more information about robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery at Bridgeport Hospital, visit www.bridgeporthospital.org/surgery/robotic.