Peter Lewis' doctors had been closely watching his blood tests for five years. When the tests indicated he might have prostate cancer and a biopsy confirmed that, the Lisle resident knew he would need surgery to remove his prostate. He didn't know there would be a robot in the operating room.
Lewis' doctor referred him to a surgeon that was well-versed in performing prostatectomies with the da Vinci surgical system, a new machine at Edward Hospital. Lewis jumped at the opportunity.
"When (my doctor) said there was a possibility of using the da Vinci machine, I decided to have an appointment with Dr. Mark Fisher," said Lewis. "So after doing a lot of research I decided that that was the best alternative to do it and get the cancer completely removed."
Hours after the surgery was completed, Lewis was pain-free and even took a 45-minute stroll through the hospital. He was back home the next day and was ready to go back to work a week later.
PATIENT STORY: ROBOTIC SURGERY
"I felt no pain at all in the removal area," he said. "My stomach was a little bit tender, but I'd had no pain in my stomach. (I had) no pain anywhere actually. I didn't even have pain medication and didn't fill the prescription."
This type of recovery is routine for patients undergoing this procedure and similar ones with the use of the da Vinci system. Surgeons also see benefits from using the system--a clear 3-D high resolution view, the elimination of all surgical tremors and the ability to better spare patient nerves.
Dr. Charles Miller has been performing minimally invasive gynecologic surgeries for more than a quarter of a century. Miller, who is comfortable performing operations at bedside or with robotic assistance, says the technology of the da Vinci can only keep advancing.
"It's kind of like that situation with the horse and the car," Miller said. "Early on, the horse is faster, but we're about to get to the point where robotic surgery across the board will be the advanced technology."
And that technology is what gave Peter Lewis a clean bill of health and the chance to get back to his regular activities, including a weekend getaway with his wife to Door County before getting back to work on Monday.
"I had a wonderful experience," Lewis said. "If you have to have a medical procedure this is the best."