Erwin "Corky" Flentie
When Erwin "Corky" Flentie was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he talked with his doctor about his treatment options.
That's how he learned about the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System that surgeons at Via Christi Hospital are now using to perform prostatectomies.
With da Vinci, even a complex surgery like a prostatectomy requires only a few small incisions. For patients that means less pain, blood loss, scarring and risk of infection, and shorter hospital stays.
"It looked to me like the way to go," said Flentie, who was anxious to get back to his home, dogs and part-time job as a Lake Afton security officer. "So I said, 'Let's just do it.'"
Dr. A.J. Farha, the urologist who performed the surgery, said Flentie's rapid recovery surpassed even his expectations.
"Mr. Flentie had no pain — zero, and went to work three days after his surgery," said Dr. Farha. "Being able to recover so quickly is a huge benefit for patients and their families."
The high-tech system features a robot with tiny arms that hold the cameras and surgical instruments that the surgeon, watching a monitor with a magnified view of the surgery site, guides from a nearby console. Initially, it is being used for prostatectomies and gynecological procedures.
Flentie simply says the surgical robot was a life-saver.
"Doing nothing wasn't an option; I had to do something," said Flentie. "I'm not 100 percent yet, but I feel like I'm getting better every day.
"For me, this was the best way to go."