When Charles Andrews, 55, of Mason, was diagnosed in April 2011 with localized prostate cancer, trusted advice gained by word of mouth brought him to the office of UC Health urologist and surgeon Nilesh Patil, MD.
Andrews had localized prostate cancer and he knew he had options for treatment, but felt a bit daunted by the choice. He began asking his family, friends and co-workers for recommendations. It was his coworker’s sister—who also happened to be an old friend of Andrews and nurse in West Chester—who connected him with Patil.
"I felt extremely comfortable with Dr. Patil from the beginning. He gave me his cell phone number, was quick to answer my questions and very specific about what to expect before, during and after the surgery,” recalls Andrews. "He encouraged me to interview multiple surgeons before I chose him. I did, but Dr. Patil was the right surgeon for me.”
The Catheter-Less Prostatectomy Approach
Through Patil, UC Health is one of two health care systems in the United States and the first in Ohio to offer robot-assisted prostate cancer surgery (prostatectomy) without the need for a penile catheter post-op. Studies have shown that almost 80 percent of patients are severely bothered by the presence of a catheter after surgery.
The no catheter technique involves draining urine directly from the bladder through a small incision above the pubic bone via a small tube after surgery. This spares the patient of the irritation of a penile catheter during recovery and allows for early bladder training. In traditional prostate cancer surgery, patients have a penile catheter for up to seven to10 days to drain urine while the surgical site heals.
"Patients experience less pain with this technique and the outcomes are no different when the surgery is performed at experienced medical centers like UC Health,” adds Patil, who also serves as an associate professor of surgery at the UC College of Medicine and director of robotic services (urology).
Andrews, who is a middle school history teacher and sports coach, says this catheter-less approach addressed his chief fear about prostate cancer surgery: post-surgery bladder control.
"I coach high school baseball; wearing bladder protection wasn’t an option for me. Dr. Patil assured me regaining bladder control wouldn’t be much of a problem, and he was right,” says Andrews. "Two weeks after surgery, I had complete control back. It was a huge relief.”
Andrews underwent the robot-assisted catheter-less prostatectomy at UC Health University Hospital on June 2, 2011. A year later, he remains cancer free and says he has a great quality of life.
For more information on the UC Health multidisciplinary prostate cancer team, visit cancer.uc.edu.
For appointments with urology, call 513-475-8787.
For appointments with hematology oncology, call 513-584-8500.
For appointments with radiation oncology, call 513-584-4775.