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08/11/2008 10:06 AM

Radical Surgery $$$ cost ???

Edgewater
Posts: 5
New Member

This morning I was informed that I have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer -- At first glance radical surgery seems to be "the way to go" -- but -- With Medicare paying 80% the remaining out-of-pocket dollar cost is a consideration -- Any ideas as to a "ballpark" dollar figure for surgery at the Cleveland Clinic plus the the resulting 2/3 day stay in the clinic, etc. -- Thanks for your help -- Billy age 71
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08/11/2008 12:44 PM
ubedarn
 
Posts: 26
New Member

Hello Billy,

As you're no doubt feeling right now,any diagnosis of cancer can be traumatic.The good news is that if your Dr. is considerering radical surgery,the cancer is most likely still 'organ confined'and your chances of a cure are good to excellent.I underwent a Robotic Radical Prostatectomy just two weeks ago with an overnight stay and can recommend the proceedure.

Cleveland Clinic is a fine hospital and you can find most of your questions answered on their site,including basic costs.

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/patients/billing_legal/ billing/default.aspx

Operating room cost at Cleveland start at $1465 for level '1' and go to $2762 for level '6',this is a "per 30min" basis.The proceedure is 3-4hrs,so it can escalate quite fast and would probably be in the upper tier as far as cost.

I would start by calling Cleveland and discussing options available to you regarding Medicare and being a senior.They also offer financial assistance programs.

Best of luck and please post any updates for us,Tony-age 62

Post edited by: ubedarn, at: 08/11/2008 12:45


08/11/2008 02:25 PM
Edgewater
Posts: 5
New Member

Tony --

Thanks -- No trauma here -- I'm too "dumb" to be afraid -- I do feel cheated by my mother's contribution to my genetic make-up -- what with my father not being diagnosed with prostate cancer until he was past 90 years of age --

And -- Oiy -- The expense -- makes me want to roll the dice and go for the radioactive seeds --

Anyway -- my urologist offered me a menu of 8 different choices -- Too bad that I can't read his handwriting -- but -- If I may ask -- why did you choose the robotic surgery -- ??? -- Thanks -- Billy


08/11/2008 04:57 PM
ubedarn
 
Posts: 26
New Member

My cancer was in a very early stage and organ confined,that was a big factor.The other was the reputation and skill of the surgical team at the urological institute I went to.

I was never too keen with the idea of radiation if I had the chance to avoid it.I felt there was always a chance of radiation missing the target and damaging surrounding tissue.Google "prostate radiation" and read the first few hits to gain some insight.

Keep in mind-the doc will require that you undergoe a pre-op physical to determine your general health if you choose surgery.I personally endured another blood test,ekg,cat scan of the lower abdomen and a chest xray before I was cleared for surgery.

They want to make sure there's no other underlying serious issues.Depending on your physical condition,radiation could be your best option.

Tony

Post edited by: ubedarn, at: 08/11/2008 17:05


08/12/2008 04:01 AM
Edgewater
Posts: 5
New Member

Tony -- Thanks again -- Today I am making an appointment with my regular GP to discuss my options -- but -- the following is an email to my sister -- which explains where my "head" is at this moment --

Yesterday was quite the annoying day -- it was not at all traumatic -- I think that I have said before that I am just too “dumb” to be afraid -- but -- the urologist was a royal pain in the (LOL) butt -- of course I was “diagnosed” with cancer -- however -- I was and I am left (in part) in “control” of my “fate” -- that is -- after being presented with a menu of four healing choices -- a tidy total of four alternates plus 3 subsets --

All of which that the urologist wrote out on a sheet of paper -- LOL -- “of course” I can't read his writing -- I have a general memory of his recommendations -- but -- I can't even spell or pronounce some of these choices -- he did “give” me a book to read (ISBN 0763722677) -- a (freebie) missive published by a Pharmaceutical Company -- one

that outlines “all” the up-to-date treatments for prostate cancer -- LOL -- I have been instructed to return the book -- that is after I have divined the “correct” option for myself -- and have gone back to the good doctor -- to have him guide me along in my choice -- LOL -- a play on the old Boston joke -- the Lowell's only speak to the Lodges and the Lodges only speak to God -- so -- urologists only speak to surgeons -- and -- the surgeons only speak to ??? --

The urologist is “pushing” me toward radical surgery (“radical” as in total removal of the prostate) -- this makes for good sense -- as -- although surgery and radiation have the same rate of success (the doc says both have a 88 to 92% success rate) -- surgery has the better (later) chance of fallback to radiation therapy -- whereas -- the converse is not (usually … never say never) true -- and -- prostate radiation therapy cannot be repeated on the same “customer“ -- so -- getting past the dark aftereffects of prostate removal -- those possible physical “indignities” -- for me -- losing certain “essential” mental comforts would be the worse of it -- this leaves surgery to be the “better” and more sunny path to a longer life --

The urologist is further “pushing” me to a certain surgeon (a Doctor XXXX) -- who only “works” at the main Cleveland Clinic campus -- which is some distance from here -- and -- that is annoying -- when I have a Cleveland Clinic hospital within a few blocks of my home -- he further “threatens” me with “harm” if I don't quickly make a fast decision -- LOL -- this is the urologist -- “HE” who “dragged out” my biopsy over many many months -- and -- LOL -- I don't react all that well to threats --

My real concern are the associated differences in costs -- operating room costs at Cleveland Clinic (depending on how staffed) are very expensive -- with the best estimate for my surgical case at 2 ½ hours -- so -- that cost -- plus the surgeon's fee -- and other professional fees, etc -- plus the hospital stay of (the doc says) 2 or 3 days -- all of which is just a big chunk of change -- and -- that makes me seriously considering rolling the dice -- and -- look at a much less expensive radiation therapy -- ??? …

LOL -- is that all there is -- ??? -- I think that I have it covered -- if not -- I'll do some catch-up down the line --


08/12/2008 02:00 PM
ubedarn
 
Posts: 26
New Member

Billy---

I don't react all that well to threats either and pushing you for a quick decision after dragging on your biopsy results? I really don't like the way he went about it.

Upon seeing my psa score,my GP gave me several urologists to choose from without any pressure to see any particular one.I did my research and decided on http://www.urologicinstituteofnj.com/index.html

I have Mon off from work and had the biopsy on 6/2,cat scan on 6/9,consultation with Dr Rome on 6/16 to discuss my results and options.

My reasoning was thus--all four urologists at the institute are urologic oncologists and highly qualified surgeons.My urologist was my surgeon,no passing me off to a third party and no pressure to choose one particular treatment.No matter what option I chose,it would have been done by my urologist.

You might want to see if you have something similar in your area and put Dr XXXX into 'google' and research his experience while you're at it.Who knows,he could be a really good,experienced surgeon.

At this point I'd say to learn as much as you can about the treatments so you can make an informed decision.The link I posted has some excellent info about the various options on their site,including cryo-surgey.

Tony


08/12/2008 02:40 PM
Edgewater
Posts: 5
New Member

Thanks Tony -- I read the book that the urologist "gave" me and I'm more confused than ever -- especially about side effects -- I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow and hopefully he will have some insight -- Thanks again for the link and the advice -- BTW -- are you in Jersey ??? -- That's where I grew up -- in Edgewater -- just a 125th Street Ferry bum -- Billy

08/12/2008 02:53 PM
Edgewater
Posts: 5
New Member

I googled Dr XXXX -- He is the head of the Section of Laparoscopic and Minimally Invasive Surgery -- His clinical interests are laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery of the adrenal gland, kidney, prostate and bladder; renal transplantation; and renovascular surgery -- He is active in scientific publication -- His Section of Laparoscopic and Minimally Invasive Surgery in the Urological Institute is one of the premier groups in the world -- so -- He seems to have impressive credentials -- ???

08/13/2008 04:54 AM
ubedarn
 
Posts: 26
New Member

Yeah Joisey,I guess you can tell from my accent Smile

Edgewater huh? I grew up in Bergenfield and still in the area.In case you're wondering,River Rd still floods out when it rains hard..lol.

It seems you have a well qualified,experienced Robotic Surgeon,that should put you somewhat at ease.

Best of luck and post any updates.

Tony

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