Virtual visits now available. You may be able to schedule a virtual visit with your provider. For more information, call your doctor’s office.
Covenant Health is an innovative, Catholic regional delivery network and a leader in values based, not-for-profit health and elder care. We sponsor hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences and other health and elder care organizations throughout New England.

Michael, Robotic Prostatectomy

Lahey Clinic and St. Joseph Hospital Team Up for Robotic Prostate Surgery

Lahey Urologist Alireza Moinzadeh, MD (left) joins forces with Physician Assistant Susan Finerty and the da Vinci® Surgical System to bring faster recovery urology procedures to patients like Mike (center).

On a chilly day in February, Michael, a Hudson firefighter went to see his primary care physician for a routine physical examination. During the appointment, Michael's physician suggested he undergo a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test to measure the blood level of PSA, a protein that is produced by the prostate gland. This test is recommended for men over age 50, and though Michael was only 49 and felt fine, he agreed to the blood test. Little did he know, this simple screening would help save his life.

Michael's PSA count came back elevated, and a repeat test a few weeks later showed that the level had risen even higher. Doctors were now suspicious that Michael had prostate cancer, and he was quickly referred to a team of urologists to help him decide the best course of treatment. The diagnosis of prostate cancer was confirmed with prostate biopsy.

As an active husband and the father of two young sons, coupled with the physical and mental demands of fighting fires, Michael was concerned about recovery time. After researching the options and discussing his choices with his team of doctors, Michael decided to have his entire prostate removed using St. Joseph Hospital's state-of-the-art robotic da Vinci® Surgical System.

The da Vinci® Surgical System is a breakthrough in minimally-invasive surgical technology. With enhanced 3D HD visualization and 10x magnification, da Vinci® offers surgeons an immersive view of the operative field, which is superior to any other surgical approach, including traditional open surgery and laparoscopy. St. Joseph Hospital is the first hospital in Nashua to offer this cutting edge technology, which integrates seamlessly into our newly-renovated OR and surgical suites.

"I just wanted to get it out of there," Michael said. While he could have chosen radiation to reduce the size of the tumor prior to surgery, Michael and his doctors agreed that using the da Vinci® method would reduce internal scar tissue, minimize external scarring, and speed healing time substantially.

Dr. Ali Moinzadeh from Lahey Urology performed Michael's surgery at St. Joseph Hospital in April, just a few short weeks after his diagnosis. Dr. Moinzadeh is a highly skilled Lahey Clinic surgeon who has performed over 700 prostate removal surgeries using the da Vinci® Surgical System. He was able to remove all of Michael's prostate using only one small incision under his belly button and a few other tiny incisions, each about the size of a pencil tip. Michael was up and walking the same day and spent only one night recovering in the hospital.

Michael said he felt good only one week after surgery, and was fully recovered within a month. Best yet, his PSA levels were reduced to next to nothing, and no further radiation or chemotherapy was necessary to defeat his cancer.

"I was back at work after just six weeks," Michael said, "I feel really lucky."

The da Vinci® Surgical System is one way that St. Joseph Hospital stands at the forefront of technology to help our patients overcome their health battles, heal faster, and get back to their living their lives.