Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blogger Biopsy Blues

Well, as I am now about to begin preparations for the scheduled prostate biopsy in 4 odd hours, this will likely be the only blog for the day and possibly the next few days - depending on the aftermath, including pain, bleeding, pain meds etc. Obviously, if they prescribe Vicodin for the pain (can't take aspirin or any "blood thinners") I will likely be 'out for the count' for as many days as I'm on it. Hopefully not long as I don't want to get "hooked" on the stuff!

Some other updates for those interested:

- I have decided not to get any "sedation" on learning there is really no pain alleviation component involved. Ordinarily, e.g. as in a colonoscopy, fentanyl is incorporated to relieve pain, along with some versed for conscious sedation. In this case, they offer no fentanyl, only versed which is not an analgesic but an amnesia-genic. I.e. its prime function is to eliminate or remove memory of the experience. Not the pain. Having had a really bad experience before, in 1996, when only versed was employed in a colonoscopy, I have decided to forego it and just have the lidocaine (injection).   Maybe this is a mistake, but we will see! (In the first blog I am able to do after this procedure I'll share my findings for others)

- The urologist I went to see a week ago is not the person who will perform the procedure, but rather a physician assistant who's been trained under his supervision. It appears now that since the constellation of trained professional urologists fell off the cliff (dropping something like 40%) back in the 1990s, more manpower (woman power?) has been called up to take up the demand. (Nearly all physician assistants are female). You can find out more on this issue from an abstract for a paper scheduled to be presented at a conference in October:

 In addition, the fact that now a preponderance of urological patients arrive from Medicare (nearly 60%) has dissuaded many from entering the specialty field. Not enough money! Hence, physician assistants have stepped in (median pay last year $94,000/ yr) compared to urologists ($220,000/yr) which sounds large but is a drop from 1995 ($430,000/ yr.)

The argument in the brochure (which is probably accurate) is that this incorporation leaves the urologist free to perform many other specific tasks, such as surgeries. (My urologist specializes in the Da Vinci Robotic procedure - which you can google.)

Anyway, this is my likely sign off for now. I ought to get the results in about a week - and let's hope there's no cancer.


No comments: