Stuart H.

  |   United States

Dear Dr. David Samadi,

First, I would like to thank you for taking me on as a patient. I’ve realized since our first meeting that you have many patients, so I share this memory to help you in recalling my existence.

I came to your office because of the successful outcome with the surgery you performed on my older brother, Jack Herrick. On my first visit, while you performed the Digital Rectal Examination, we joked as to whether you would like to offer me a second opinion by using two finger; I give credit to Dr. Sven Wenske (from Columbia Presbyterian) who examined me and shared the same punchline that you also imparted to Matt Lauer.

All joking aside, I am now facing a life-changing event that will forever alter the way I feel about myself and how I interact with other people in my life.

For the moment I have no comedy to share which is really not my style-wow first change of lifestyle. I asked you how many of these surgeries you have done, how many prostates have you removed. Your answer was over 6,000! I then asked how many have you put back in and your answer was 0. I said I did not like your score card. In perspective, that is potentially over 6,000 men’s lives you have saved from this deadly disease!

It was not until I watched, and entire 45YouTube video, that I realized how delicate this procedure is and how well trained you are. I watched with focused attention as the team performed a delicate series of operations: limiting infection by invading the body cavity through small working ports, locating the organs, tediously separating the nerves, arteries and veins from the connective tissues and fascia, clamping off the urethra and the seminal vesicles and then, finally, separating the prostate while limiting the higher Gleason score cells from making contact with other healthy tissue. The operation concluded with the reattaching the urethra to the neck of the bladder by stitching together around a catheters.

My envisioned misconception that you are just “removing the prostate” was weak; I now believe this is minimizing the final conclusion.

My greatest concern is damage done to the surrounding nerves and muscles.

During this particular video, a drain tube was placed in the cavity to help reduce the clear fluid from accumulating and allow proper healing to take place during the 8-day wait for the wound to heal. I noticed that the robotic knife nicked a blood vessel which the surgeon sutured closed. During this public demonstration, it was quite understandable that while a moderator was questioning the surgeon during operation, such a distraction could happen. I expect that our operation will be more private.

The Da Vinci Robotic procedure has become the new “ceiling” of what medical engineering in the year 2016 can accomplish. It has become the standard or the foundation from which greater accomplishments can be made.

Having been born in 1959, I grew up with the idea that landing men on the moon was impossible. Yet, there were a small group of visionaries and determined people who pushed beyond the imaginable even though most of mankind had the limited belief that such a project was not possible. Just ten years later, in 1969, there was a giant leap for mankind and the moon landing took place. Our astronauts were even able to drive a car (Lunar Rover) on the moon!

By comparison, robotic removal of the prostate, in 2016, has become the “standard” of which greater accomplishments in cancer treatment and medical engineering are made. It is no longer the ceiling of medical innovation, but the new floor.

I always find that humor helps in communication:

When I asked you how many prostates have you removed, for me, it was like asking my mechanic how many engines has he removed, and then asking how many he reinstalled. The parody is that, thanks to you, I will own my car for many years….it just won’t perform the same way!

Further Humor:

Like the farmer that was loved by his animals, a chicken and a pig, the chicken said that “the farmer has taken such good care of us, let’s make him breakfast. I’ll donate the eggs if you donate the bacon”, the pig replied, “for you it’s a donation for me it’s a commitment!”

This famous business tale of The Chicken and the Pig is about commitment to a cause. The chicken is involved and the pig is committed!

I do have some new hope and an immature plan. For me, like the pig, this is a commitment. Whatever voice I have I promise to share it with your team to help further the parody of the “Lunar landing” to the replacement of the Prostate. You have the genius to understand how to remove it. I believe someone will learn how to grow one. With a combination of removing a bad and treacherous organ, the replacement will be the next stage of this treatment. Our operation is the first stage of this great challenge.

I have been told that I am a decedent of Rambam so it all seems so perfect that G-d would choose me to be a part of such work. May Elohim bless your life, your soul, as we work to share in the Meshiach. Thank you for putting me on your team. My job is simple, I just have to be still during the procedure.

I would like someone on your staff to monitor the following three major concerns: limit damage to my nerves, limit infection, and limit pain. I’ve be taught that healing works better when there is no pain. Still, I find myself fearful of the outcome and anxious for my future.

Very Truly Yours,

Stuart H.

Stuart H.
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