First Robot-assisted Procedure at NNMC Successful


By all accounts, Michael Ittner, 61, was in good health. He ran six miles a day, ate right and had a wellness check every year, which included a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. But when his test results indicated the possibility of prostate cancer, Michael was referred to urologist Angelo Kanellos, MD.

Michael says he knew nothing about prostate cancer, but he felt comfortable right away with Dr. Kanellos, who ordered tests and a biopsy to confirm that treatment was needed. “I was given the option of radiation or surgery, and I felt better having the da Vinci® robot-assisted surgery at Northern Nevada Medical Center because it is near my home and it is a minimally invasive procedure,” he says.

Surgery was scheduled for February 2, 2016 and began at 7:30 a.m. By noon the next day, Michael was on his way home. “I felt great! The biopsy was more invasive than the actual surgery,” he says.

Dr. Kanellos says using the da Vinci robot means better outcomes for the patient – smaller incisions, which can result in a quicker recovery, minimal scarring and less pain. “Mr. Ittner did very well with the surgery and recovery and did not need radiation or chemotherapy. He was back to work in two weeks and able to resume running shortly thereafter,” says Dr. Kanellos. “Had we performed traditional surgery, his recovery would have taken much longer.”

Michael describes his entire experience as “phenomenal,” and he is grateful to Dr. Kanellos and the nursing team for the quality of his care. “Having da Vinci surgery at NNMC is the way to go. It is a first-class facility, and everyone took great care of me,” says Mr. Ittner. “I tell others about my experience at NNMC and urge my friends to not put off getting a PSA test. Early detection saved my life!”

Learn more about robotic surgery at Northern Nevada Medical Center.