Advanced Surgical Technique Smooths Cancer Journey

Rev. Richardson

Dr. Walter T. Richardson never thought that he would have to relive one of the hardest experiences he’d ever faced. And yet, there he was, getting a diagnosis both stunning and familiar: cancer, this time in his prostate.

“I was surprised because I thought I was healthy,” Dr. Richardson said. “After having Merkel cell carcinoma, skin cancer, back in 2003, I was surprised to have [cancer] again.”

Dr. Richardson, a well-known, retired pastor who served 26 years at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in Perrine, is diligent about his annual exams, scheduling his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test at the same time every year. It was through further examination that his urologist found he was in the beginning stages of the disease.

“My PSA count came back fine,” Dr. Richardson said. “However, my digital exam came back irregular. I went on to have a biopsy, and it revealed I had cancer.”

After being diagnosed, Dr. Richardson was referred to the Urology Center of Excellence at Jackson South Community Hospital, where he was offered five treatment options: radiation, radioactive seed implants, open surgery, robotic surgery, or do nothing.

After consulting with his family and deciding that “doing nothing” wasn’t a choice, Dr. Richardson made the decision to go with the less invasive robotic surgery.

Sanjay Razdan, MD, MCh, the center’s medical director, used the da Vinci® surgical system to successfully perform a roughly 90-minute robotic prostatectomy on Dr. Richardson, a procedure that allowed Dr. Razdan to remove the prostate with precision and help reduce the risk of damaging any nerves.

“Dr. Razdan was very comfortable with his ability to take care of the problem; very confident. I was impressed with that,” Dr. Richardson said. “From admission to recovery, everything went smoothly.”

Because robotic technology is less aggressive invasive than other surgical options, patients can experience minimal pain, less blood loss, and a smaller risk of infection. The surgical process only requires a few tiny incisions instead of a 10-inch one used during conventional prostate surgery.

Patients undergoing this procedure may have a better chance of a cure with return to normal activities within days. In the majority of cases, patients are not troubled with incontinence or impotence.

Dr. Richardson is a testament to rapid recovery. Nine days after surgery, his urinary catheter was removed, triggering regular bladder control. He was fully recovered shortly thereafter.

“My daily routine has gone right back to normal,” Dr. Richardson said. “I was encouraged not to lift anything heavy for six weeks, but after that, I went right back to what I was doing.”

To learn more about the Urology Center of Excellence at Jackson South, as well as the use of robotic assisted surgery and human amniotic membrane, call 305-585-4URO or visit JacksonUrology.org.