J Thompson -- A Patient's Story
After Jerome "J" Thompson got over the initial shock of his prostate cancer diagnosis at age 48, he knew he wanted the cancer out of his body immediately.
His primary care physician recommended he see a urologist, and Thompson quickly made an appointment with Brad Rupp, M.D., Rupp Urology. Dr. Rupp explained everything to him from the diagnosis to his treatment options.
"Just the way he explained everything and left it open to the patient to make an informed decision was great," Thompson says. "It took quite a bit of time to digest all the information."
After reviewing the educational materials provided by Dr. Rupp, Thompson determined he was a good candidate for a minimally invasive prostatectomy using the da Vinci® surgical robot at St. Francis Health Center. Dr. Rupp has performed more than 400 prostatectomies using St. Francis' da Vinci®.
"The da Vinci® robot has changed the way we do radical prostatectomies in this country," Dr. Rupp says. "It allows all the advantages of surgery through a more minimally invasive procedure. We have a very experienced robotic program at St. Francis in Topeka. We were one of the first hospitals in Kansas to start a robotic program."
Thompson says he was discharged from St. Francis within 24 hours of waking up in recovery, and the five small scars he has now are hardly noticeable.
"It felt like I would expect outpatient surgery to feel," he says.
A marathon runner, Thompson didn't allow the surgery to slow him down. He ran a marathon right before his surgery and started training for his second marathon in June 2008 after his October 2007 surgery.
One of the potential issues Thompson took into consideration before he chose da Vinci® surgery was incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
"Any man who qualifies for the surgery would be concerned about this," he says, noting that the da Vinci® educational materials reassure potential patients that if either of these side effects will be a problem, they will appear soon after surgery. If patients opt for radiation treatment, it can take longer for these side effects to emerge.
Thompson says within a week to 10 days after the surgery, he had none of the side effects, other than slight incontinence when he ran.
"Minor incontinence was a problem that improved rapidly," he says, explaining that by his second marathon a year after the surgery it was no longer a problem.
Thompson praised everything about the experience, from the initial visit with Dr. Rupp and his bedside manner to the quick recovery and Dr. Rupp's care to prevent damage to the nerves.
"I would recommend robotic surgery for anyone who's an appropriate candidate," he says.