I was operated on by Dr. William Huang in May, 2010. I’d been diagnosed with bladder cancer the previous year by a urologist on Long Island, who did several procedures in which he scraped the cancer out—but it kept returning. Then I had a series of injections that were supposed to kill the cancer cells, but that didn’t work. The only option left was surgery, so my urologist referred me to Dr. Huang.
My first appointment with Dr. Huang was in February. After looking at the cancer with a camera, he told me that my bladder had to be taken out—otherwise it would likely spread past the bladder wall into the rest of my body. Then he went over the robotic procedure he would do to remove the bladder. He showed me the size of the incisions that are done with robotic surgery, and explained that I would have less bleeding and potentially heal faster compared to open surgery.
I went into surgery at six in the morning. The operation lasted quite a while: Dr. Huang removed my bladder, prostate, and the surrounding lymph nodes. He then used my intestine to create a stoma for my urine to drain through. When Dr. Huang removed my prostate, I was incidentally found to have prostate cancer as well! I felt a little sore when I woke up, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d been expecting. I used pain medication for the next few days, but after that I really didn’t need it. I was in the hospital for a week, and was up and walking the day after the procedure. I was given a prescription for more pain medication when I went home, but I never had it filled.
I bounced back fast from the surgery. It’s been a few months since the operation, and I’m feeling very good and am back to all my normal activities. Because I no longer have my bladder, my urine passes out through the stoma that Dr. Huang created in my abdomen, and I wear a receptacle to collect the urine. It has taken some time to get used to it, but I’m living with it and doing very well. I just went for a followup CT-scan, and everything is looking good.
Dr. Huang was terrific throughout the process, and his whole staff treated me extremely well. As far as I’m concerned, it was cut and dried—I went in, had it done, and everything turned out great.