Keyhole prostate surgery testimonial – Peter McIvor

Peter McIvor from Stourport-on-Severn underwent revolutionary keyhole prostate surgery under surgeon Alan Doherty at the Priory Hospital.

Mr McIvor left hospital after two days and was back at work within less than a month following the operation, which enables patients to make a better and swifter recovery. Mr McIvor, a 61-year-old self-employed tool maker from Stourport-on-Severn, describes his experience.

“It was a fluke really, the way I found out I had prostate cancer. I didn’t feel unwell at all. I had an eye test and because I had small specks or clouds on my eyes, known as floaters, I was referred to the doctor for some general tests. One test was a PSA, which I hadn’t heard of before.

“My PSA was raised and I was told I would need to go to my local hospital in Kidderminster for further tests. It was a full day of tests which included a biopsy. Two weeks later, I found out I had cancer.

“I was terrified and one of the hardest things is that although I was given options, I wasn’t told which one to take. The decision had to be mine. The doctors cannot give you guarantees. You are traumatised by the news that you have cancer, but you also have to make some very important decisions.

“I was very fortunate in that the cancer had not spread beyond my prostate and was young and fit enough to have an operation. The cancer was not going to go away and I felt the best thing would be to have the prostate removed.

“I must admit that I was very scared by the prospect of the operation. I hadn’t been in hospital since 1958 – when I was 14. I was worried about being incontinent after the operation, so keyhole surgery appealed to me because the risk of incontinence is reduced. The fact that Alan Doherty had carried out so many of these operations certainly reassured me.

“I decided Alan offered the best option and my operation was arranged for December 8. The operation was so successful, it was unbelievable. I remember feeling a little bit sore, but there was little pain and I was back at home within two days. One of my daughters and two grandchildren came round and everyone said they couldn’t believe how well I was looking and how mobile I was. I went back to work at the start of January and have started walking again, which is something I’ve always enjoyed.

“I would say to other men in the same position – it is very important that you talk about it, even if it is very frightening and you don’t want to talk. I joined the Kidderminster Cancer Support Group and found the group a great source of support and advice. I was also greatly helped by having a loving family to support me, especially my wife, Ann.

“I’ve told friends my age to have a PSA test. If prostate cancer is caught early, you stand a far better chance of recovery than if you wait until it has spread. I feel lucky that mine was caught so early and that I had this type of surgery, which has meant I recovered very quickly.

“It is important for people to remember that a raised PSA level isn’t always cancer. If you have a test, you can either put your mind at rest or be in a better position to have treatment.”