In 2005, when Samuel Armour was looking forward to a trip to Rome, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His doctor, Ashok Kar, M.D., presented him with three treatment options: seed implants, traditional surgery or robotic surgery.
“I chose robotic surgery, and everything went great. I went into the hospital on a Tuesday, was home by Thursday, and a month later I went to Rome. If I’d had the traditional surgery I wouldn’t have been able to go. I chose surgery over seed implants because I wanted to be sure they got all of the cancer,” he shares.
Since then, the former U.S. Marine has recommended robotic surgery at St. Joseph Hospital to three other men, including two of his Marine buddies. “We keep in touch and I know they’ve all had good outcomes,” he states, adding, “St. Joseph Hospital is my hospital of choice, and Dr. Kar is a wonderful doctor. All of their doctors, nurses and staff are great.”
When Las Vegas resident Don Landskron found out he had prostate cancer, he began researching solutions. He wanted “the latest and greatest technology” for the best possible outcome and found that was robotic surgery. He then checked out where in the country robotic surgery was available. Here’s what he had to say about how his experience unfolded:
“Although there were two doctors performing the robotic procedure in Las Vegas, they were relatively inexperienced and I wasn’t impressed with their track record. I focused on Southern California, where my daughter lives, and came across St. Joseph Hospital. I called (The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment Coordinator) Kim Moses and she gave me a couple of doctors’ names, including Dr. Ashok Kar.
“I called Dr. Kar and was able to get in to see him within a few days. I spent more than an hour with him and he explained the procedure. He and his staff were great. Because I had a lot of confidence in him I wasn’t afraid.
“I’ve been to a couple of other hospitals and was not impressed, but at St. Joseph Hospital, everything was better than expected. It was a night and day difference. Everything was on schedule, and the nurses were outstanding.”
Since his procedure in March 2007, Don’s follow-up visits and PSA tests have “all been perfect.” He adds, “If you need to have prostate surgery, the most important consideration is the doctor and his experience and professionalism. Robotic surgery is a proven technique in the medical field that is superior to what was done a few years ago, and would highly recommend this procedure. I would also wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Kar and St. Joseph Hospital.”
After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Tustin Police Lieutenant Joseph Stickles and his doctor, Ashok Kar, M.D., went over the different treatment options. “As someone who is fairly young and really active, the only option that made sense to me was robotic surgery,” recalls Lt. Stickles, age 57. “I wanted treatment to be a one-shot deal and be done with it."
Understandably, Lt. Stickles had concerns: was the cancer just in the prostate, how long would it take to recover, would he have to face impotency or incontinence. “My outcome is fine so far,” he commented a year after his January 2007 surgery. “Robotic surgery is just amazing to me because you can do so much through such small incisions. While I was in the hospital my treatment was great. They really took care of me and I have no complaints. Two weeks later I was back to work.”
“I’ve been to a couple of other hospitals and was not impressed, but at St. Joseph Hospital, everything was better than expected. It was a night and day difference. Everything was on schedule, the food was very good and the nurses were outstanding.”