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Faster Recovery with Robotic-assisted Prostatectomy at Silver Cross Hospital

Bill Nehart had been receiving prostate screenings for the past 18 years.  But last summer, his urologist noticed a change during the physical portion of the exam.  Further testing and a biopsy indicated Nehart had a less aggressive form of prostate cancer. Fortunately, they caught it early giving him options. 

Dr. Ernesto Tan suggested they could watch and wait or Nehart could have surgery.  After talking it over with his daughter who is a nurse practitioner with a local oncology practice in Joliet, Nehart decided on surgery. His daughter recommended they see Dr. Thai Nguyen, medical director of the Robotic Surgery Program at Silver Cross Hospital. 

Photo Caption:  Plainfield resident Bill Nehart competed in the Hot Chocolate 15K in Las Vegas just 90 days after undergoing robotic-assisted surgery with Dr. Thai Nguyen at Silver Cross Hospital to remove his prostate cancer. The Midwest Institute of Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital performs more procedures than any other hospital or surgery center in the entire Chicago area.

Before leaving Dr. Nguyen’s office, Nehart’s surgery was scheduled for Nov. 30, 2015 at Silver Cross Hospital. The Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital performs more procedures than any other hospital or surgery center in the entire Chicago area. “Of all the doctors I have met, Dr. Nguyen is one of the best I have seen,” said Nehart, 62 of Plainfield.  “He spent 90 minutes with us explaining all the surgical options. He showed us where the cancer was located and how it had spread within my prostate. He explained everything so clearly even drawing diagrams making sure we understood what was happening.” “We decided that a robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy was in Bill’s best interest since he is otherwise healthy and leads an active lifestyle,” said Dr. Nguyen. 

“Robotic surgery made the most sense to me,” Nehart said.  “First of all, because of Dr. Nguyen’s extensive experience in performing these types of operations, but also because it posed the least risk for any complications and would be less painful than open surgery. Plus I would only have to spend one night in the hospital.” 

Using one of Silver Cross’ three da Vinci® surgical robots, Dr. Nguyen sat at a computer console inside the OR manipulating the wristed robotic instruments used to make 5 keyhole size incisions in Nehart’s pelvic area.  Using the robot, he then inserted a telescopic lens into one of the incisions, providing a three dimensional and magnified view of the erectile nerves, blood vessels and muscles surrounding the prostate gland allowing for optimal preservation of these vital structures.  Using long, thin robotic instruments, Dr. Nguyen removed the cancerous prostate through one of the incisions before sewing Bill’s bladder to his urethra with great precision. 

“Dr. Nguyen did a great job,” said Nehart.  “I was up walking the day after surgery and back in the gym just two weeks later.  I even participated in 5K just a month after my procedure, a 15K in Las Vegas last February, and I am currently training for a triathlon this summer.” 

“Everything Dr. Nguyen told me was spot on,” Nehart added. “Robotic-surgery is the way to go. I just had my second PSA following my prostatectomy and everything looks good.” 

For a referral to a physician who treats prostate cancer or more information about robotic surgery, visit











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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.