I’ve traveled to Israel several times to demonstrate robotic prostate cancer treatment to urologists who are relatively new to robotic surgery. My goal in Israel, and in other countries, is to help specialists continually improve the quality of healthcare they provide their patients, particularly in the area of prostate cancer treatment. While in Israel I successfully performed robotic surgeries using my SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotoc Technique) method of prostate cancer treatment, all televised live to extend the reach of the training.
However, we know from experience that the learning curve for robotic surgery is very steep. Studies show that experienced surgeons require over 1,600 robotic-assisted surgeries before they achieve acceptableoutcomes. With significantly smaller caseloads, Israeli surgeons are simply not yet able to offer the level of expertise that U.S. specialists can. In time, their experience, and therefore expertise, should greatly improve.
But what of the Israeli men who are facing prostate cancer today? They certainly don’t have the time for their country’s knowledge to catch up. They are fighting for their lives and deserve the highest quality medical care available today, regardless of location. As a result, inbound medical tourism is becoming increasingly popular to those looking for the top-notch medical care that U.S. patients have access to on a regular basis. I have performed over 3,500 successful robotic prostatectomy procedures, and have a prostate cancer cure rate of 97 percent. For many, these statistics far outweigh the inconvenience or added expense of travel to another country.
That is why I feel it’s critical for my staff and me to cater to these men battling prostate cancer. The moment they become our patients, they become our family. Our international department can handle all aspects of their treatment in the United States: travel arrangements, family care, recovery, even entertainment for those traveling with them. In some cases, I’m able to arrange for several men to come here at the same time for surgery. Though their treatment remains completely individual and private, the camaraderie and comfort that comes from making the journey together goes a long way in their emotional wellbeing and lifelong recovery. This is true for both the patients and the family members who are able to share in what can be a very trying experience.
My efforts overseas will always remain a priority for me. Giving prostate cancer patients access to the highest quality treatment and medical technology in their homelands is of utmost importance. But until that goal is realized, my staff and I will continue to serve those men and their families who need life-saving prostate cancer surgery now- and we will do so with compassion and care for their unique needs as traveling patients.