Local Resident Fights Prostate Cancer with Robotic Surgery at Monmouth Medical Center
John Reardon, of Neptune, was waiting until he was 50 to get his first prostate exam. However, with a family history of prostate cancer, his friends at work urged him not to wait. So, at age 49 – although he felt fine and had no symptoms – John took their advice and visited Monmouth Medical Center urologist John R. Chapman, M.D. Subsequent blood work revealed an elevated Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) level, a screening test for prostate cancer.
Cutline: John Reardon talks with Monmouth Medical Center urologists John R. Chapman, M.D., and Pierre Mendoza, M.D., medical co-director of the Institute for Robotic Surgery at Monmouth Medical Center
John learned that he was facing a very serious medical situation with a high possibility that prostate cancer could spread into the bones and lymphatic system – which is exactly what happened to his dad. “One minute you are sitting at your desk at work, and the next you are sitting in a doctor’s office thinking about getting your affairs in order,” said John. He was doubly concerned because his wife Celeste had just been diagnosed with breast cancer with plans to undergo a double mastectomy.
Dr. Chapman highly recommended a robotic-assisted prostatectomy – one of the most innovative treatments for prostate cancer – and referred John to his colleague, urologist Pierre Mendoza, M.D., medical co-director of the Institute for Robotic Surgery at Monmouth Medical Center, the region’s most advanced robotic surgery program. Fellowship trained in robotic surgery and minimally invasive uro-oncology, Dr. Mendoza has led pioneering robotic surgeries at Monmouth Medical Center.
“Robotic-assisted surgery offers patients a minimally invasive alternative to traditional surgery with better results,” said Dr. Mendoza. “Patients will experience minimal scarring, less blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery time.”
“Although I was in a ninth-inning situation with two outs, Dr. Mendoza made me feel like maybe I could get a big hit,” said John. “After my biopsy, I learned the right side of my prostate was ‘on fire’ but the left side was fine.”
During a robotic assisted prostatectomy, the target site is tightly confined and surrounded by nerves affecting urinary control and sexual function. By using robotic technology, surgeons have a better tool to spare surrounding nerves, enhancing the recovery experience and clinical outcomes.
The robotic surgery results were beyond John’s expectations. “I had the greatest experience at Monmouth Medical Center. I knew I had the best medical professionals in the state for this procedure, and I felt assured that everything would work out.”
John was also amazed at how short his recovery time was. “I went in for the procedure one day and was home the next morning. There is very little scarring and within a few months everything was working just as it did before – just like nothing ever happened. I am truly grateful that robotic surgery offered me such an advanced option for the complete removal of my cancerous tissue.”
“John has recovered even better than anticipated and I’m delighted to see his progress,” said Dr. Mendoza.
Nearly two years later, John and his wife are still cancer-free. They are feeling great and enjoying life together. Celeste is back to her teaching job and John is back to work as a lead engineer for Local 825 IUOE in Maywood, and playing in his band – The Jersey Doors – a Doors tribute band. “I can’t thank God and Dr. Mendoza enough. I have my life back!”
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