Saturday, December 01, 2007

Wonderful Boring Reality

In about 3 weeks it will have been a year since I had the GreenLight prostate procedure. I have good news, and that is that there is nothing bad to report :-)

I recommend the procedure, it has certainly worked for me!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

7 Months Since Green Light Procedure

It's been 7 months now since the PVP GreenLight procedure on my prostate gland, and everything is still OK.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

EPCA-2 Test May Dramatically Improve Prostate Cancer Detection

All men are, or should be, hoping that the EPCA-2 blood test becomes available soon. It is specific for prostate cancer, in comparison to the PSA test which isn't specific for much of anything. In a test of 330 men, the test was positive in 94% of the men with prostate cancer and negative in 97% of those who did not. In those men whose standard PSAs were lower than 2.5 (and therefore would be assumed to be cancer-free), the EPCA-2 test successfully detected 78% of those who had prostate cancer.

Men with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) often have elevated PSA numbers, even if they are cancer-free. The ECPA-2 test successfully identified 3/4 of the cancer-free men with BPH and high PSA numbers.

Dr. Robert H. Getzenberg, the developer of the test, hopes it will approved by the FDA by the end of 2008. However, that agency has a habit of confounding the prognosticators so this date could slip into 2009 or later, or never.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Six Months Since Green Light Procedure

Tomorrow it will be 6 months since I had the GreenLight PVP prostate procedure. It's still good! If you are thinking about it, I say go for it!

In the last couple (?) of months my firehose urination has slowed to a more moderate pace, probably as the bladder muscle has returned to normal size. It's now about 30-35 seconds to empty a full bladder and zip up...such an improvement from before the procedure!

If I don't really need to go, there can be an abnormally long hesitation before urination starts. I don't know why. If I do really need to go, there is no hesitatino at all.

Siz months, 180 days, maybe 1000 urinations that have not been an exercise in patience. All right!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

GreenLight Procedure, 6 Months Ago

Wow, 6 months since I had the procedure. No problems to report, everything is "going with the flow."

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Return of Morse Code?

An interesting thing happened about a month ago, and has been repeated a few times since. If I get up in the middle of the night to pee, sometimes the stream is weak and comes in Morse code segments...just like the bad old days!

A separate, but perhaps related, phenomenon that started about a month ago is occasional hesitancy in starting the stream. If I really need to go, no starts quick and flows fast. But if I don't need to go too bad, sometimes the flow is slow to start.

The worst example was at a local restaurant, when I went to the bathroom to take a whiz before starting on a drive. There were two urinals, extremely close together and with no modesty partition between them. A fellow was using one, and I could not get my stream to start for a good (bad) 20 seconds or so. Embarrasing!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 4 Months Since Surgery

Time flies, especially when you aren't standing in front of a urinal!

Everything is fine, I'm glad I had the procedure, and glad the surgeon had the opportunity to learn from his mistakes on the patients before me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - First PSA Test Since Procedure

As a part of my annual physical exam I had a PSA test today...the first since November of last year (before the Greenlight procedure). At that time the PSA was 2.40 (doubled to an effective 4.80 because I was / am taking Avodart).

Today's number is a remarkable 0.9 (doubled to 1.8). Hooray!

My urologist said that they don't do any PSA tests until 7 months after the PVP, because until then the results don't mean anything.

Monday, March 19, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 3 Months Since Surgery

It's been 3 months today since I had the Green Light procedure for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Nothing new to report, everything is still good.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 2 Months Since Surgery

The surgeon told my wife, while I was still unconscious in the recovery room, to tell me to wait a full 2 months before giving the GreenLight procedure an evaluation. Well, that milestone has arrived (and slightly passed), and here is my report to all readers:

-- Urethral irritation is gone.
-- I'm continent.
-- I'm potent, but not likely to have any more children.
-- I can pee real fast!
-- The health insurance disagreement is down to $100.

If you are peeing in Morse code like I was, and if you can find a surgeon who has already done at least 50 or 100 GreenLight (PVP, photo vaporization of the prostate) procedures, I recommend it.

If you are curious, go to YouTube and look for the videos of Greenlight procedures by the Spanish surgeon. They are very educational.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - Almost 2 Months Since Surgery

My pee time is now down to about 20 seconds to pass 98% of the urine...outstanding! I step up to the urinal at the same time as a young person and finish as quickly as he does.

This morning, completely unexpectedly, a blood clot and a chunk of necrotized tissue popped out while I was peeing. And this evening another chunk came through. I thought that stage of recovery had long passed.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - Almost 7 Weeks Since Surgery

Things continue well, with only one minor problem. I can pee like a fire hose...empty 98% of a full bladder in 20 seconds. That is absolutely WONDERFUL!

The minor problem is that sometimes, when I realize that I need to pee...I REALLY need to pee RIGHT THEN. No accidents have happened yet, but I can envision a problem on, say, a road trip out in the middle of the boondocks.

They say that the bladder-emptying muscle gets very strong when you have BPH, in order to push the urine out. Since that power is no longer needed and the muscle probably will weaken, perhaps the flowrate will slowly diminish and the urgency problem will subside.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 1 Month + 5 Days Since Surgery

Today I noticed the urine flow diminishing to less and less. Then, this afternoon while peeing, a large chunk of necrotized tissue came out. It was quite a surprise, because it was larger than any of the blood clots that were popping out a couple of weeks ago. It felt like a jellybean on the way out, and I'm fortunate that it came out and didn't get stuck like a cork.

Ever since, the urinary flow has been fire-hose strong. Nice!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 1 Month + 4 Days Since Surgery

Yesterday the burning on urination returned, much to my surprise. Today I passed, machine-gun style, 3 somethings. Coincidentally, today I had my follow-up visit to the surgeon.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 1 Month Since Surgery

This morning, exactly a month and a day after the surgery, the burning sensation on urination disappeared. I hope it stays away! I've resumed taking an aspirin a day for protection against heart disease and colon cancer, and to mute the flushing side effect of my niacin supplement.

Monday, January 15, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 4 Weeks Since Surgery

Things are slowly getting better. No bleeding for about 5 days, I'm completely off Flomax, urinary flow is good (not great) and the burning sensation during urination is only about half as bad as it was. And...I haven't ever peed when I didn't intend to! :)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 3 Weeks Since Surgery

It's hard to believe that the surgery was 3 weeks ago.

Bleeding comes and goes. Irritation stays and stays, but it's usually only painful when I pee. Urinary flow diminished over the last couple of days, so I took a Flomax last night and urinary flow is much improved today.

Perhaps I have prostatitis or a urinary tract infection, or maybe this is normal.

It is a relief to not be concerned that I might wake up some night and just flat-out not be able to pee :)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 19 Days Since Surgery

Frequent urinary-tract irritation and occasional small discharges of blood persist. The irritation makes you think you need to pee, even if you don't really, so it's "irritating" in more ways than one.

Before the procedure, the urologist said that I would need to go to the bathroom a lot, "and sometimes you may not make it." A couple of days ago I was walking outside and I thought that might come true...the sensation of needing to go was very strong.

The disappointing thing is that there is no sense that this is getting better; in fact, it's getting worse.

Monday, January 01, 2007

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 13 Days Since Surgery

Dang blood clots! For the last couple of days I've had an annoying irritation of the urethra, but no blood. Then this evening there was some blood (probably a teaspoon) followed by the largest clot I've seen. That explains the irritation. Good thing I haven't resumed taking aspirin, which would make the bleeding much worse.

I'm ready for the healing to be complete!