When Mike Clark was first diagnosed with prostate cancer, it was unexpected, but it wasn’t a complete surprise. While Clark, a 70-year-old retired supply chain manager from Stuarts Draft, Virginia, hadn’t experienced any symptoms of prostate cancer, he did have a family history. Several cousins and uncles had it.
“We caught this early,” says Clark, “and that’s a testament to having an annual physical. It was a change in PSA [that we noticed due to my yearly physicals] that alerted us.”
Clark was referred to Brian Stisser, MD, a robotic surgery specialist and urologist at Augusta Health. Dr. Stisser informed Clark about a new minimally invasive robotic surgical procedure available using the da Vinci® Surgical System. “My physician recommended Dr. Stisser because of the new techniques and the da Vinci robot,” says Clark. “He and Dr. Stisser were both very clear that robotic surgery was one option and there were many other options out there.”
After mulling the possibilities, Clark decided to go the robotic surgery route. Within a month of his surgery, Clark was well enough to stand up and deliver a morning message to his church. A year after surgery, he traveled to South Carolina for a consulting gig without any problems. He continues his active lifestyle, exercising, doing yardwork, woodworking and, in general, enjoying life. This July, two years after his surgery, Clark fully expects to be declared cancer-free.
“Robotic surgery has been a great experience — considering surgery is not always a fun experience,” he says. “I have reflected with my cousins and my whole family about it, and every one of them says: ‘Man, I wish I could have gone that route.’”
Learn more about the robotic surgery program at Augusta Health. Talk with your physician or visit Augusta Health’s website.