Radical prostatectomy operating theatre with robot at centre and surgeons console on the side

Imagine being on that table: Operating Theatre with Robotic Surgery Machine

27 February 2020: Up at 4 am, Uber to hospital in the dark for my radical prostatectomy. I’m so scared and yet something is reassuring about all the rules, uniforms, gleaming corridors of the hospital.

I am inviting a surgeon to make half a dozen holes in my tummy and insert robotic arms with lights, cameras, tweezers, mini-chompers like crocodile clips, and scalpels right to my core. Scared, but not doubting my decision. I suppose I prefer the firmness of action – cutting out the whole prostate in one go, instead of eating away at it with radiation therapy. I like but it feels too late for the natural approach – entrusting my future to a change of diet and attitude and ramping up my already-healthy living.

Eventually it is time to be wheeled into the operating theatre. My heart drops so far down it almost bounces off my ankles. Bright lights. Da Vinci machine with so many arms I can’t count. Barely in my field of vision, a couple of metres away, is the huge command console with my surgeon already immersed in it. Knowing I am going to go under, go deep under, and as the surgeon said “in a tiny percentage of cases death is the outcome.” What is different this time is truly amazing – when I get into the theatre, the whole team introduce themselves! A couple even shake my hand!

This changes everything. These are human beings. They are a team working for my good health. I am grateful and sink under with peace and hope.