Revolutionary Keyhole Prostatectomy Surgery – Keith Boad

Keith Boad, aged 60, had a revolutionary keyhole prostatectomy after developing prostate cancer last year. Mr Boad, an industrial engineering manager for a major UK manufacturing company, was able to return to work just six weeks after having the surgery. The procedure enables patients to make a far quicker recovery than traditional open surgery.

“I had no symptoms whatsoever – I had no idea anything was wrong. It was only picked up because I went to a Well Man check at my GP’s surgery. I was told I had to have the check because I had turned 60, but later found out this was a ruse by my wife and the practice nurse.My wife was worried about my cholesterol levels and wanted me to have the necessary blood tests. It’s the best thing she could ever have done.

“As part of the check-up, I had a PSA test. My levels were found to be higher than average for my age, so I was automatically given an appointment with a hospital specialist. Following my examination, I was completely speechless when the possibility of cancer was mentioned, because I had no obvious symptoms and I was completely unprepared for it.

“A subsequent ultrasound and biopsy confirmed that I had indeed got a tumour but that it had been caught at an early stage.  You are then told that you need to decide which of several treatment options you wish to undertake. It’s not as you expect, a doctor saying – ‘This is the problem and this is what we will do’.  I then started researching the subject to find as much information as possible to help us make a more informed decision.

“After discussions with one consultant, who specialized in the ‘gold standard’ open surgery, he recommended that I saw Alan Doherty as a surgeon who specialized in laparoscopic prostatectomy (the complete removal of the prostate by keyhole surgery) as a comparison. It is a relatively new procedure, but Alan was recommended because he has carried out more than 200 of these types of operations.

“It seemed logical to me that there would be advantages to a procedure which involved making five small incisions, rather than one large one for open surgery. I obviously knew that I needed surgery and I wanted to understand all the pros and cons of each procedure, I had to be as confident as possible in my decision.

“In the end I could not find any reason not to go forward with the keyhole surgery, it was the best option for me, I also felt confident and reassured by the passion that Alan projected about his chosen procedure. I had my operation on December 6 last year. After the operation, I obviously experienced discomfort but didn’t really have any pain. I was automatically given painkillers immediately after surgery, but after two or three days I said I’d like to try without them. I didn’t need to take any after that.

“Within two days, I was encouraged to get up and walk about and I left hospital four days after my operation. Once I was back at home I started going for a walk each day, progressively building up the distance.  My major worry from the outset was about the level of incontinence I would experience, but it has been nowhere near as bad as I feared it could be.

“We had put our plans for Christmas on hold, because we didn’t know what to expect, but as I was feeling so well on Boxing Day we were able to have our normal family gathering, just like other years. I returned to work six weeks after the operation. Although I still get a little tired in the afternoons, I’m delighted to be able to get back to normal.

“For anyone facing the same decisions as I had, following the diagnosis of prostate cancer, I would certainly recommend that keyhole surgery should be seriously considered. I can’t believe that in the future it will not become the Gold Standard for the surgical treatment of prostate cancer. However, it is very important to find a surgeon like Alan who is very experienced and has carried out many of these procedures. You will find both the surgery and your recovery is far better than you might imagine.”