Sal C.| United States
Dear Dr. Samadi & Staff:
I am writing to thank you for your excellent care during my recent experience with prostate cancer.
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer on October 7, 2011 after my yearly physical showed an elevated PSA. My urologist, who I will call Dr. L, explained my options after which I initially expressed interest in radiation therapy. After learning that 45 radiation treatments might not remove all of the cancer cells, may destroy some healthy cells, and may result in secondary cancers, I shifted my attention to surgery. The choices were Open Prostatectomy or Laparoscopic Surgery, possibly with the use of a robot. My first thought was I would prefer that the surgeon hold the instruments in his hand rather than have a robot as an intermediary between the me and the surgeon. Upon educating myself about the benefits of the different types of surgery, I learned that the most important factor, especially with robotic surgery, was the number of times the surgeon performed the procedure. I also learned the benefits of Robotic Laparoscopic Surgery over an Open Prostatectomy.
On November 18th, still extremely confused and not knowing which way to turn, I spoke with Dr. L who explained that if I were his father, he would place me in your care. Dr. L called your office and asked that you take me as your patient. Within an hour, I received a call from your office, and I explained to Ann that I was still unsure of the direction to take. Later in the day, I went on to your web site which contained a world of information about Robotic Laparoscopic Surgery. I viewed the video and learned more about the benefits of the surgery. I learned that you performed the surgery over 3,600 times. I became very interested in meeting you and your staff.
On November 21st, I called your office and asked for an appointment. I was extremely surprised when I was given an appointment for the next day.
Upon entering your office, I immediately knew that I had come to the right place. The professionalism of your staff was amazing. I was especially impressed when Ann explained that you consistently have the same surgical team which is part of the reason why the surgery would take approximately 1 ½ hours compared with the 3 to 4 hours of surgery with alternative methods. Ann explained that you have the same anesthesiologist for each surgery. I was amazed when Ann explained that the surgery would be scheduled in 15 days, on December 7th. For the first time since I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I felt comfortable in knowing that I was headed in the right direction.
During the two weeks before the surgery, your staff was remarkable with respect to obtaining authorization for the surgery from my insurance company as well as instructing me and gathering the information necessary prior to the surgery. With each and every call to your office, there was always someone available to respond to my questions.
Upon arriving at Mount Sinai on the day of the surgery, the staff at the hospital treated me with a great deal of respect, and the admission process was quick and smooth. As the time of the operation drew near, I met with the anesthesiologist on your staff who made sure that I had prepared for the operation. Soon after, I was surprised that you came to greet me and walk me into the operating room. This, I felt, was a great feeling of deep respect as opposed to being wheeled into the operating room and seeing you for a few seconds prior to surgery. Before being put to sleep, I noticed that each one of your staff performed their task like a choreographed dance under your leadership. And, by the way, the warmed pillow and warmed blanket were a nice touch and well appreciated.
To this day, I know I made the right decision in having you perform my surgery. This feeling is supported by the continued attention and professionalism of your staff during my follow-up visits, and Ann’s occasional, reassuring touch on the arm.