"I have never gone to the hospital for anything, a broken bone or a cut, so to find out that I had cancer, well that put a scare in my heart."

Michael IrelandI came in for my annual checkup in September of 2008. My doctor told me that my PSA levels were elevated and that they wanted to retest them in 4 months.

4 months later, they retested me and found that my PSA levels were even higher, around a 5 or a 6.

They decided to do a biopsy and took 12 samples of tissue from my prostate. 4 of them came back positive for cancer.

All my life I’ve been healthy. I have never gone to the hospital for anything, a broken bone or a cut, so to find out that I had cancer, well that put a scare in my heart.

My local doctor talked to me about both radiology and surgical treatments. He was about to be trained on the Da Vinci robot and told me that I could be his first patient. I didn’t feel comfortable with this and decided to find a doctor who had more experience with prostate cancer. That’s how I found Dr. John Pattaras.

I met him in person. My first reaction, I was really comfortable with him and right away, I felt like he understood what I was going through.

I had never even heard of the Da Vinci robot. I hated the idea of surgery and was certain that I would have radiation. After 5 minutes with Dr. Pattaras, I had changed my mind. He told me that the robotic procedure was minimally invasive, that I would be out of the hospital within a day or two of the procedure, and that I would be fully recovered and back at work in a few weeks.

The day I went to the hospital I was pretty nervous. But once I got there the staff made me feel comfortable. One of the nurses told me that she was going to give me something to relax and when I woke up the surgery was done.

I didn’t feel a whole lot of pain afterwards, just a little groggy. My procedure finished at 8:30 p.m. With some help from my wife, I was walking up and down the hall about 2 hours after the procedure.

By the next morning, my legs felt stronger and I walked the hallway by myself.
At 4 p.m., less than 24 hours after my surgery, they released me and I headed home.

The doctor said I’d be out of commission at least 4 – 6 weeks and it only took 4 weeks to recover. When I went back to work, they were surprised I came back so early.

I’m fully recovered. I feel great. I’m back to playing tennis and riding my motorcycle.

Michael Ireland, 55, Duluth, GA

>>Return to Emory Medical Advances in Urology>>

The Physician

Dr. John Pattaras

Learn more about John Pattaras, MD

To make an appointment, call 404-778-7777.