Sunday, May 03, 2009

My Prostate Operation

Probably about a month prior to Feb 28, 2009, I was having urinary infection. I went to a local clinic at Bandar Puteri for treatment. My urine was checked and I was given antibiotic to combat the illness. For the one month, while I was on antibiotic, I was okay. But when I stopped taking the medicine, the infection came back.

Finding this to be unacceptable, I went to see a urologist. The doctor recommended that I go for an operation called TURP. He was very reassuring; he told me that he had done more than a thousand such operation and that there was really nothing to be scared of or worried about. As I was also having hernia he recommended that both operations be done at the same time. I agreed to his proposal.

The TURP operation commenced on March 03, 09 in the late afternoon. I was given regional anesthesia. The injection called Epidural was really killing; it was very painful indeed! (I can't understand why I was not given general anesthesia that is not so painful.)

Two days after the operation, the catheter, (the tube that drains out urine from the bladder) was removed from the urethra. I was then instructed to drink plenty of water to induce urination. Unfortunately I was unable to urinate despite tremendous effort amidst excruciating pain. The catheter was then inserted into the urethera again. Two days later, it was removed and I was asked to try to urinate again. Again I failed. The doctor had to insert the catheter again. This procedure went on for a few times before I was asked to go home with the catheter in place.

Five days later, on 17.03.09 I was back to the Medical Centre. Again I was unable to urinate when the catheter was removed in spite of every effort I put in. The taking out and putting in the catheter was really a very painful experience. The doctor then said that he had no option but to use another catheter to drain out the urine. I was put under anesthesia and a new catheter inserted at a point about five inches right below the navel. With two catheters in place, you can imagine the position I was in at that time. The next morning, the catheter in the urethra was removed. That time I was a bit fortunate. I was able to urinate but with severe pain and with a little bit of blood. From then on the progress was slow and painful.

On May 02, 09 I went for a check-up of my urine flow which was weak. The doctor said that the weakness could be due to scar tissue. This is very scary as scar issue has the tendency to grow back when removed. The doctor has now put me under watchful alert for the next three months. I pray and hope that my urine flow will improve over time.

This morning I came to know about Professor George Lee. His article is appended below for those who are interested to know about Green LIght Laser Surgery on prostate.

The green light at the end of the tunnel- Prostate operation
I have been looking forward to today in the last few months. Finally, the arrival of a Green Light Laser prostate surgery machine to a Government Hospital in Malaysia. Green Light Laser surgery operation is an important landmark in surgery as this operation offers patients the prostate surgery without having significant morbidity such as blood loss and long hospital stay.
I have been working in London Hospital in the United Kingdom for a few years prior to my return to Malaysia. In the United Kingdom, I had the opportunity to use Perform Laser operations for patients and had observed the benefits of such operations over the conventional operation. Of course, the healthcare budget in the country was significantly larger than the government healthcare budget in Malaysia. The Laser operation for prostate is widely available for the general public, and the costs are fully supported by the Government. In Malaysia, however, the constant thrive to keep up with the state of the art technology for patients is not lacking. This operation actually has been offered to patient in a Private Hospital in Kuala Lumpur recently, and the interest has been overwhelming! In a government Hospital, we are not lagging; in fact we were the first one to place the order for the machine. Although in Many fields of medicine, we may not be in the forefront, however, in Malaysia we have the constant drive to keep up, and that gives me a sense of pride.
Today, we are having our soft launch before the official launch. The list of the patients eagerly waiting for this surgery is phenomenal. We invited an expert from Australia to train the staff and provide laser safety, and everyone could feel the excitement in the air.
Our first patient was a man in his sixties. He has been suffering from the typical prostate problems such as hesitancy of initiating urine, poor flow, dribbling and incomplete emptying. This is further complicated by the fact that he has both urinary urgency and the necessity of waking up at night to pass urine. Despite on medications, the symptom of this patient persisted. Of course, this is a well educated retired professional who also has read up about PVP Laser prostatectomy from the newspaper, and he is keen to have the contemporary operation. The man had the operation under spinal anesthesia, and he actually was awake through the operation and did not feel any pain. The operation went as smooth as the clockwork and we drew a large audience from the other operating theatres. Everyone knew this was going to be landmark advancement in the University Malaya Medical Centre.
I went to see the patient the day after the operation. We were already up and had a shower, and enjoying his breakfast in bed. I asked him whether he had a good rest last night. He reply “of course not! I am still in disbelief that I managed to be one of the first few patients to have this operation in Malaysia. The catheter was removed that morning and the patient went home by that afternoon.
When I was writing this article, I was thinking…”Would I feel as proud with this operation when it is done in the United Kingdom?” This answer was a definite NO! I felt proud because this was a technology we fight for and providing for our fellow country Malaysians.

Is Green Light Laser Surgery the answer to those who need prostate surgery? Anyone who has any experience with it, is most welcome to comment. Thanks.