Bruce Smith

In May 2015 I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 9 (4+5). Dr Dian Kirstein performed the biopsy, which was painless, and I had no ill effects from the procedure. As my prostate had to be removed, he referred me to Dr Lance Coetzee, where the various options were discussed. The added complication in my case was that I am a pancreatic cancer survivor who successfully underwent a “Whipple” operation in 2010 to remove a tumour from my pancreas. Unfortunately, I had to undergo further major abdominal surgery in 2014 to remove and repair a jejuno-colic fistula that had developed following radio therapy in 2010.

The major concern was whether I was a candidate for a robotic prostatectomy due to lesions, scar tissue etc which may have developed following the earlier surgical procedures. Removing my prostate robotically was “first prize” as it is a much less invasive procedure and quite frankly, was the preferred option given my Gleason score of 9.

We were extremely impressed with Dr Coetzee’s professionalism and totally dedicated approach to my specific case. I am pleased to report that he was able to get the robotic arms into my abdomen and thus able to perform a robotic prostatectomy. I underwent the operation on the afternoon of Saturday 6 June 2015, spent that night in intensive care, moved back into a general ward on the Sunday and was discharged on the Tuesday morning!

It was an amazing experience. I suffered no pain at all and have been active ever since. The staff – admissions, accounts office, cleaning, catering and in particular the nurses – at the Urology Hospital were top class. I certainly had no doubt that I was receiving the best possible care.

As a result of my extremely positive experience, I have no hesitation in recommending the Urology Hospital in Pretoria. Should anyone be a candidate for a robotic prostatectomy, I believe that they would be well advised to seek Dr Coetzee’s guidance and expertise.

(6 June 2015)