Lakeland Health Care

Patient Stories

Celebrating Survivors

Age Diagnosed
Prostate Removal; da Vinci Surgical System
Feature Story

Late last summer, Berrien Springs resident and local real estate business owner Howard McLauchlin learned he needed to have surgery to remove his prostate because of a cancerous growth. Howard’s urologist, David Terhune, MD, of Lakeside Urology, recommended that the surgery be performed by his colleague, Benjamin Stockton, MD, using the da Vinci® Surgical System at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph. This procedure is complex due to the prostate’s close proximity to the bladder, bowel, and many nerves and blood vessels.

Howard explained that his trust in Dr. Terhune caused him not to worry, and together they scheduled an appointment for him to meet with Dr. Stockton. The Medical Director of the Lakeland Robotics program, Dr. Stockton is the only da Vinci fellowship-trained urologist in Michiana.

In mid-September, Dr. Stockton successfully removed Howard’s prostate. During the surgery, however, Dr. Stockton found a malignant polyp in Howard’s bladder. Still trusting and not discouraged, Howard returned seven weeks later to have the polyp removed by Dr. Stockton. He was cancer-free.

Howard said he received exceptional treatment from everyone at the hospital, from the receptionists to those performing the surgery. “If I had to rate my care experience on a scale from one to 10, it would be a 15 or 20,” he said.

He also appreciated the care of his anesthesiologists for the two surgeries: David Blue, MD, and Thomas Mattice, MD. Each doctor prayed with Howard before putting him under, which brought him peace. They also inquired about his health outside the hospital. “I thank both of them for doing such a great job — they went above and beyond,” Howard said.

After the surgery, Howard met with Teresa Petzke, PT Clinical Specialist, for physical therapy and recovery at Lakeland Rehabilitation Services, Health Park in St. Joseph. Because of her well-structured and localized exercise program, Howard was released from therapy after only three visits.

“She left me her telephone number with instructions to call her anytime with questions or concerns,” Howard said. “My rehab experience gave me the training and exercises I need for maintaining continence and a normal life going forward from my present age of 70. I’ve been extremely happy with my results.”

Now Howard is working again full-time, and enjoying a good quality of life. He said he has heard stories about other men who chose different hospitals for very similar health issues, and who had less-than-satisfying results. “I’m happy I chose to stay local at Lakeland,” he said.

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