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Robot-assisted surgery helps Seymour resident overcome prostate cancer

Friday, May 4, 2012

Free lecture on latest treatments May 31 in Trumbull

Robert Ruff of Seymour knew he was at high risk of developing prostate cancer long before his diagnosis in November 2011. He had a family history of the disease and an enlarged prostate, and a blood test during a physical exam nearly a year earlier showed that he had an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level.

“I was scared,” the 55-year-old husband and father of three grown children says about his reaction to learning that he had cancer. “I just wanted to get it out—I wanted it out.”

Robert, a dispatcher at a construction equipment rental business for the last 13 years, says he was more concerned about the possible after effects of prostate cancer treatment, such as incontinence, than the treatment itself. He turned to Bridgeport Hospital urologist Edward Paraiso, MD, who performed a prostatectomy (surgical removal of the cancerous prostate) using the da Vinci® minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery system.

Bridgeport Hospital physicians have performed nearly 1,500 robot-assisted surgeries—a greater number than any other hospital in Fairfield County. The patient benefits of robot-assisted surgery include smaller incisions, less postsurgical discomfort and a faster recovery time. The daVinci system’s sophisticated imaging technology and highly-flexible physician-guided robotic arms provide a greater degree of precision and safety than traditional surgery.

“I thought it would be worse,” Robert says about the surgery and short, one-day hospital stay in January. “I was really, really impressed.”

Robert returned to work within six weeks of the procedure. “My health is good right now,” he says. “I’m back to walking three miles a day.”

Robert’s advice for other men: “Get regular physical exams and prostate screenings. Call your doctor.”

A panel of Bridgeport Hospital physicians, including Dr. Paraiso, medical oncologist Neal Fischbach, MD and radiation oncologist Bruce McGibbon, MD, will discuss the latest treatments for and symptoms of prostate disease—including difficult, painful or frequent urination—during the free lecture, “Prostate Problems—Solved,” Thursday, May 31, 7:00 p.m., at the Trumbull Marriott, 180 Hawley Lane.

Reservations are required. Call toll free, 24/7, at 1.888.357.2396.