“The robotic surgery and outcome is much better than I anticipated. It was a fantastic combination of having the best doctor, best nurses and the best hospital."
Wiley Smith lives in one of the West’s last real ranching communities, a quaint place he proudly claims “has no stop lights, no doctors and no hospitals.” So when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2009, there was no question in his mind that he would need to travel outside of his rural hometown in Central Idaho in order to get the best, most advanced treatment.
Smith was diagnosed with Ductal Adenocarcinoma, a rare subtype of prostate cancer. A close friend, who had lost his wife to cancer a couple months prior to Smith’s diagnosis, advised him to locate the best cancer doctor he could find. Smith immediately contacted long time friend of the family and Idaho state native, Dr. Raymond Lance, fellowship-trained urologist with Sentara Medical Group.
“I knew of Dr. Lance and his reputation in prostate surgery and cancer research,” he says. “I wanted him to treat me. He’s like a son to me, and I trust him completely. I knew he’d take care of me.”
“I researched a lot. The more I researched and talked to people, the more I heard what an outstanding hospital Sentara Norfolk General was.”
Smith underwent a daVinci Robotic-Assisted Prostatectomy, a procedure that typically results in shorter recovery and fewer post operative problems. He only stayed one night in the hospital and after a couple days, his soreness was gone.
Smith is an active 72-year-old who works with his two sons at their cattle ranch located at the base of one of Idaho’s highest mountains. He was anxious to get back to “haying” and his other daily chores.
“They needed me back at the ranch,” he says. “I had a lot to do.”
Smith credits his success story to the excellent treatment he received at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. He believes his 2,500 mile trip to Norfolk was well worth it.
“The robotic surgery and outcome is much better than I anticipated. It was a fantastic combination of having the best doctor, best nurses and the best hospital. I’m going to keep busy,” he says, proud to be healthy and back doing what he loves. “Why would I ever want to retire and just sit down all day? I do all my retiring at night.”