I recently had my prostate removed in Jan of 2022 and I am 70. I got my J-Pouch in 2000 and have had very good luck with it these past 21 years. I was diagnosed with cancer nearly a year ago. I couldn't find a surgeon anywhere in the Michigan area, even though there are many J-Pouchers in the Metro-Detroit area.
I had many adhesions with several blockages over the first 5 or 6 years. So my options were going to be complicated, no matter which route I chose.
I was going to go with external beam radiation, until I saw my original J-Pouch surgeon and he said absolutely not. He said no matter what the radiation doctors tell you, they can't be as accurate as they need to be with the external beam. But, he suggested the high dose radiation method where they implant radio active seeds within your prostate, which in turn kills the prostate and the cancer. So, that seemed like a great alternative, until I went thru all of the testing and the prostate was too dense (or something) and I wouldn't be a good candidate for that.
So, back to looking for a surgeon who had experience. The radiation Doctor knew Dr Karnes and recommended hom. I took a ride and spoke with Dr. Karnes at the Mayo Clinic in MN and he said he was very familiar with J-Pouches and prostate removal. I was very comfortable with him and what he said and everyone I met there. Rochester MN is a 12 hour drive for me and I was dreading the drive home a few days after the surgery.
So, I cold called the Cleveland Clinic whis is less than 3 hours from me. They referred me to Dr. Kaouk who was also familiar with prostates and J-Pouches. I drove to the Clinic to meet with Dr Kaouk and his assistants and once again, I was very comfortable with what he said and how he was going to handle everything.
Since I would have to travel to see either Doctor, I chose the Cleveland Clinic only due to the shorter drive for me. Both Doctors seemed more than qualified and personality played no part, strictly 3 hour drive VS 12 hour drive after surgery. Dr Karnes prefers an open surgery while Dr. Kaouk uses the latest single port DaVinci robot for surgery.
The bottom line is that I am happy I went with Dr Kaouk and robotic surgery. I have a single 2" scar from the surgery, instead of a longer scar from an open type surgery. When I woke up in the recovery room was in absolutely no pain. I spent the night in the hospital and went home at 11am. I was never in any pain. The pain scale never went above a 1 or 2 - I could bend and get out of bed without problems and it never really bothered me. He used superglue on me and that began flaking off after a few days and still no pain even when I washed the incision...
So, that is my long winded prostate removal story. Please feel free to contact me if anyone has any questions...