I am Don, 71 years old. My wife and I are retired school teachers from Pennsylvania. We
moved to Titusville, FL 11 years ago. Early in 2007, my PCP, Dr. Chapla discovered I had an
enlarged prostate during a routine physical exam. By Jan. 2008, my blood test showed that my PSA
numbers had gradually increased from 3.0 to 4.2. Dr. Chapla scheduled an appointment with Dr.
Yash Sachdev, a local Urologist. On March 13, 2008, Dr. Sachdev and an associate performed a
sonogram and biopsy. One week later, at 4p.m. on March 20, Dr. Sachdev discussed the results of
the previous week’s tests. The sonogram showed that I had an enlarged prostate – 2 ½ times
normal size- and the biopsy indicated that I had cancer of the prostate.
Dr. Sachdev briefly discussed all of my options. Dr. Sachdev knew Dr. Vipul Patel and highly
recommended him. I quickly chose robotic prostatectomy at Florida Hospital and Dr. Patel. I chose
this procedure over all other options because of its many advantages to be discussed later. As I
found out later, this turned out to be one of the most intelligent decisions of my entire life!
The news of my diagnosis could not have come at a more inopportune time. The next morning at 5
a.m., my wife and I were flying out of Orlando to Phoenix, AZ. The next two weeks were spent
visiting my mother in law in Prescott, AZ and our daughter in Santa Fe, NM; I believe that during
this time God took complete control of my life. I had the support of my wife, my son, my daughter,
and numerous friends and relatives who were praying for me.
Over the next month I also listened to Lynda Randall of the Gaither Gospel singers. I was totally at
peace. I had no fear of what was about to happen. I had complete confidence that Dr. Patel, with
God’s help, would see that everything would be okay. I maintained this positive attitude up to and
throughout the surgery!
My pre-surgery visit with Dr. Patel was on Thursday April 24. After this meeting, I knew I had made
the right decision. Dr. Patel is one of the kindest, soft-spoken and confident individuals I have
ever met. Before leaving his office, my surgery was scheduled for Friday, May 16. During this
period of time, between April 24 and May 16, I had pre-surgery routine EKG, chest x-ray, blood
tests, etc. performed. My PSA had risen to 5.2.
On Friday, May 16, the day of the surgery, my wife and I arrived at the hospital at 5:30am in
preparation for the surgery schedule between 8 and 8:30. I continued to be upbeat and positive,
ready to go – “Let’s get this thing out of there, the sooner, the better”. The surgery was a
complete success although I was unaware of my surroundings for several hours due to “happy
Following surgery, Dr. Patel spoke with my wife briefly explaining how beautifully ever thing went
and how pleased he was that the entire prostate slipped out in one piece. I was soon to discover
the many advantages of robotic prostatectomy as performed by Dr, Patel and his team. That very
evening, I was walking in the hall way carrying my catheter and with the help of my wife and the
staff. The next day, I was home in my own bed. Four days later, I had the catheter removed. Within
a week, I had stopped all pain killers and antibiotics.
I have experienced only minimal pain since then. The numerous advantages of this procedure
become clear: Surgery lasting about 1 ½ hour, 24 hour hospital stay, small incisions, quick
recovery, and minimal pain. Eight days after surgery, I am exercising in the pool, walking and bike
riding. I am still in the recovery mode but I feel great. Way beyond my wildest expectations at this
point in time.
I have the greatest respect and admiration for the total experience with Dr. Patel and his staff at
the Global Robotic Institute. I was overwhelmed by the respect and dignity by everyone with whom
I had contact. I highly recommend Dr. Vipul Patel and his fine Institute for anyone facing prostate
cancer surgery. In my opinion, robotic prostatectomy is the way to go! In closing, I would like to
say that I am extremely blessed to have been led to this hospital and this surgeon. I was obviously
surrounded by guardian angels too numerous to mention. I wish to thank all of my support groups,
my wonderful wife, my children and all of the prayers from friends and relatives across the nation.
On June 30, I found out my PSA is 0.1!!
A Wife’s Perspective: Cathy’s Testimonial
At 4 p.m. on March 20, 2008, Don’s Urologist gave us the news every man dreads, “Your biopsy
indicates prostate cancer”! He listed Don’s options and ordered more test but we had to postpone
the test because we left 13 hours later on a two week trip to Arizona and New Mexico visiting
relatives. Don was leaning towards the robotic prostatectomy to get rid of it quickly. But the trip
gave us time to consider all options.
We were both teachers in Pennsylvania until we retired and moved to Florida eleven years ago.
Don is now 71 years old and going strong. As we traveled we prayed and listened to Gaither
Gospel music, especially Lynda Randall’s” God on the Mountain” for inspiration and comfort.
Deciding to opt for the robotic surgery with Dr. Patel was one of the wisest decisions we ever
made! When we returned from our trip, Don had to have several test to “qualify” medically for this
procedure. Once, he was given the news that the cancer had not spread, “It was a go” as they say
at NASA. We were scheduled to see the surgeon and have pre-op test early in May but there was
cancellation which allowed us to move everything up sooner.
Dr. Patel and his staff answered all our questions and gave us a pamphlet with detailed, helpful
instructions for pre- and post- surgery procedures. They took care of the insurance authorizations
and listed the steps to take in preparation for the procedure. We arrived at Florida Hospital in
Celebration early on the 16th of May for his 8 a.m. surgery. Don was in the recovery room several
hours later I was able to tell him, “Dr. Patel says everything went extremely well. And he said it with
a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye!”
That evening, after Don’s first meal in several days, Tyrone had him up and waling with his IV pole
and catheter. He spent a restless night but the pain meds did their job. The nurses were all very
attentive and encouraging every step of the way. The next night, we were home in our own bed.
We have followed the surgeon’s suggestions carefully and he’s continuing to heal. The latest PSA
test indicated he is down to 0.1 from a high 5.2. Praise God! I wish to thank Dr. Patel and his staff at
Global Robotic Institute for their attentive carte during this whole experience!