Survivor: 'I have plans' after da Vinci cancer surgery
Because his mother had died a year earlier from cancer, Bruce Hawkins didn’t waste any time when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year.
“The word ‘cancer’ scared me to death,” said Hawkins, 60, of Mayfield. “I never dreamed it would happen to me.”
Hawkins’ family doctor referred him to Baptist Health Paducah urologist Donald Spicer, M.D.
“Many patients having prostate surgery now experience less post-operative pain and shorter hospital stays,” Dr. Spicer said of the da Vinci’s benefits.
The system seamlessly translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of surgical instruments inside the patient in an area smaller than would be required for the surgeon’s hands.
“The thing I liked about Dr. Spicer is he was very honest,” Hawkins said. “There were other options, but this was the quickest and easiest way, and it was a piece of cake..”
Diann Copeland, who owns a Paducah painting and cleaning service, had a similar experience after discovering she had kidney cancer in May. “I was stunned,” said Copeland, 54. “Dr. Spicer went step-by-step through the procedure and I said, ‘Let’s do this da Vinci. I have plans.’
Dr. Spicer said the da Vinci is effective for partial removal of the kidneys or tumors in the kidneys. He used it to remove the cancerous tumor in Copeland’s right kidney, and she didn’t need radiation or chemotherapy follow-up treatment.
“I was in the hospital two days,” Copeland said. “I had no stitches. A week later I was back at work. Three weeks later I went on a motorcycle trip to San Diego. I’m doing great.”