I chose a procedure called cryoablation of the prostate. This means: To destroy by freezing. I was fortunate in having an extremely talented surgeon, here in sunny Saginaw, Michigan. He is Dr Steven Jensen, at Tri-City Urology. My experience with cryoablation surgery was unbelievable. I went to the hospital apprehensive like everyone else, and was totally amazed at the whole routine.
I entered Covenant Hospital at 10:30 A.M. and at 8:30 P.M. that same evening, I was at home, having a bowl of soup with my wife. I never needed a pain pill. The procedure required a one hour and forty five minute general anesthesia and the pain was never more than a 2, on a scale of 1 to 10. There was no incision, as they inserted a series of argon probes into the prostate, through the southern-most portion of my anatomy and literally turned the gland into an ice cube. Then they slowly thawed it and repositioned the probes and froze it again.
I had to wear a catheter for 10 days after the surgery, which I removed myself just before my post op appointment. I was passing a few clots and my urine resembled tomato juice for a while, but, if you drink a lot, it clears up soon.
At this writing, it's been about six months since the surgery and everything is fine. I don't have the kind of control I would like yet, but it's slowly getting better. It usually takes three to six months to regain normal control but it's a relatively easy "work around" with a little planning. If I want to go out and "Boogie," all I have to do is urinate 3 or4 times since my last fluid intake and I'm good to go.
When I had my 3 month post op PSA; check up, it was undetectable. I would heartily recommend this procedure to anyone who can have it. The only snag is that the cancer must be confined to the prostate to be able to have cryoablation done.
One more thing: When they do cryoablation, they protect the ureter and bowel from freezing by inserting a computer-controlled 72 degree liquid during the procedure. I hope this has helped someone out there.
Well Gang, Here it is, a little over a year and a half after my cryoablation surgery and my PSA is zero, undetectable. I have fairly good control over my urination and minimal to zero side effects. If I feel a strong urge, I'd better find a bathroom quickly. I have never needed a pad or special briefs, or any thing like that. It's amazing how rapidly your body adjusts to a given circumstance. I know that if I urinate at least three times from the last time I drink, I'm O.K. to go shopping or whatever.
One downside is that cryoablation eliminates your sexual capability completely. You know how "herbie" surges a bit when you tighten up your shut-off muscles? Well, that is completely absent. Any type of an erection or sexual desire for me is completely absent. At the age of 79, tho, this isn't a problem for me. It's much better than the alternative.
Again, I would HEARTILY RECOMMEND this surgery for anyone who qualifies for it. It's relatively painless and I made a complete recovery from it and have returned to a normal fine quality lifestyle. I get my P.S.A. checked every 6 months for a total of five years. If the cancer comes back, you can have cryoablation again.
My Doctor said not to worry about it, he can easily get me another 10 or 12 years and that's probably all I'll need. I sincerely hope this has encouraged someone.
Well guys, Here I am, 2-1/2 years after my cryoablation surgery, doing great with a zero PSA; reading. I have no seminal fluid or an ability ty have an erection, as my prostate gland was pretty much destroyed with the surgery. I can urinate normally, although if I get busy and store up a little too much urine, I will tend to leak a tad bit.
All I will say is that if you have a problem, keep your chin up, don`t read horror stories on the internet, don`t borrow trouble, trust your God and surgeon and believe that things will work out well.
Bill's e-mail address is: william9179 AT att.net (replace "AT" with "@")