prostate cancer treatment, robotic surgery, robotic prostatectomy,, Dr. Samadi

February 23, 2011 15:57 ET

Vicente Rivero, aka "Little Johnny," Musician and Prostate Cancer Survivor Tells How International Prostate Cancer Expert Dr. David B. Samadi Saved His Life

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 23, 2011) - Vicente Rivero, a conga player with Son De Hoy and formerly La Sonora Ponceña, says he and Dr. David B. Samadi, robotic surgery expert, have much in common. "I give my music my all, 100%, so people can enjoy it," said Rivero. "If I'm not doing the right thing by my fans, I'm not happy, and Dr. Samadi is the same way with his patients." And Rivero, 53, knows from experience, having successfully undergone a robotic prostatectomy for prostate cancer on January 31st, he says he's feeling great and owes it all to Dr. Samadi, Vice Chairman, Department of Urology, and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

A friend of Rivero's wife, Melinda, referred him to Dr. Samadi. "All of my research kept pointing to Samadi from the start," said Rivero, whose own father is a prostate cancer survivor, as a result of radiation therapy. Rivero had been getting bi-annual screenings since the age of 50 and had been experiencing lower back pain and frequent urination. He was diagnosed on October 13, 2010. A month later, a biopsy confirmed a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

"I knew at my age, the best option was to get robotic surgery," said Rivero. Dr. Samadi's staff helped set up and prepare Rivero for surgery. "Samadi's staff was great; they visited me before surgery and each had a position in the operating room," said Rivero, "I felt very comfortable and secure. I walked into the operation room full of joy!"

Rivero and his wife Melinda both met Dr. Samadi on the day of surgery, at which time, Melinda had only one demand, "I told him, 'I don't want anyone to touch my husband but you; it has to be you.'" Dr. Samadi responded, "I promise I will handle the entire operation -- no one else will touch him."

After the 2-hour surgery, Dr. Samadi announced to Rivero's wife, "The operation is over and it was a success. I didn't touch a single nerve -- you have your husband." Said Melinda, "Usually people cry before operation. With us, it was the opposite -- we started crying in the waiting room!" Rivero was discharged after 2 nights, because of snow storm in New York. His catheter was removed on February 8th. Since then, he's only experienced slight leakage, which is completely normal.

Rivero's advice to all men is to get themselves checked -- especially Hispanic men, who typically shy away from medical treatment. "Dr. Samadi is brilliant," he said, "If anybody is scared to get treated, don't worry, because with Samadi, everything will come out just fine. You can turn life over to him with your eyes closed and know that he can save your life and, more importantly, your quality of life."

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