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Billy Mattison – da Vinci Prostatectomy Success Story

Minimally invasive prostatectomy surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System at Methodist Dallas Medical Center Patient Success Story

Billy MattisonFrom the fall 2010 edition of Shine magazine

Like most people, Billy Mattison figured he was in pretty good health and let considerable time pass between doctor visits-until something sparked pain.

"I put it off and waited until I hurt to go to the doctor," he says with a knowing smile, admitting he'd last had a physical about a decade ago. But the 66-year-old University Park resident had done a lot to help himself – he'd quit smoking, improved his diet, and regularly checked his blood pressure.

Then early this year his blood pressure seemed to keep running high, so he made that trip to the doctor. His prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level was a bit high but not alarming. Taking a cautious approach, including antibiotics for a couple of weeks, failed to change the readings, so a closer look was in order. He saw a urologist, who happens to be a friend of several years and a neighbor – Carrington Mason, DO, an independently practicing physician on the medical staff at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, practicing with Southwest Urology Associates.

"I love to cook, and Dr. Mason always enjoys coming to my crawfish boils," says Mattison, a Virginia native who was raised in South Carolina and spent several years in Louisiana before work in the apparel business brought him to Texas.

Billy Mattison on a exercise bike.An easy decision

After a series of biopsies showed the presence of prostate cancer, serious next steps were taken.

"We sat down, and he gave me all my options," Mattison says. "After that, I thought about it and decided that da Vinci was the best route for me. I wanted the cancer out of me as soon as possible, and I wanted the faster recovery time and minimally invasive process that da Vinci promised."

After a brief moment's reflection, he adds firmly: "It was the best decision I ever made. There's no doubt."

His decision to have the surgery was swift and sure; surgery was set for late May.

"The easiest part is the surgery," he says, joking about some of the presurgery preparation required. "I felt like I could have left after the surgery, but I stayed one night."

He felt well enough the morning after the surgery that he happily returned his "clear breakfast" options for "a real breakfast."

Billy Mattison feeding koi fish.The right choice

Mattison says he was back to normal just three weeks after the surgery – already gardening and tending the fish pond at the home he enjoys with his wife of 22 years, Jo, an artist. A native of Louisiana, she and all of their friends have already enjoyed the return of his crawfish boils. Mattison also quickly returned to riding his recumbent bike and traveling.

"There's no doubt in my mind that I made the right choice," he says of choosing Methodist Dallas and the da Vinci Surgical System procedure. "It all went so well. I had the nicest room. Everyone had such a caring attitude, and you never felt they were too busy for you. And everything's under control now."