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Robotic-assisted surgery helps man fly
through recovery

Marc Taylor flys through recovery
After a radical prostatectomy using robotic-assisted surgery, Marc Taylor needed to wait only two weeks to get back in the air.
  Upon discharge from Sanford Health after surgery, Marc Taylor received a prescription for pain medication.

It was hardly necessary.

“I really haven’t had pain to speak of,” said Taylor, owner of Northern Plains Equipment in Mandan. “I think I used one or two of the pain pills.”

The nearly full pill bottle serves as tangible proof for Sanford Health’s latest innovation—robotic-assisted surgery using the da Vinci Si Surgical System. With robotic-assisted surgery, surgeons can perform complex procedures in a minimally invasive fashion using small incisions, which can lead to less pain, minimal scarring and a quicker return
to normal activities for patients when compared to open or traditional laparoscopic surgery. Sanford Health is the first and only health system in Bismarck-Mandan to offer this innovative technology.

Taylor needed a radical prostatectomy, meaning he had his prostate gland and some of the tissue around it removed, to treat prostate cancer. He underwent the procedure on June 16—a Thursday—and by the following Wednesday, he returned to work for a few hours. The next week, he was back full time, and, two weeks after the surgery, he was in the cockpit flying a plane—one of his favorite hobbies.

Had Taylor undergone a traditional open prostatectomy, which would’ve required a large cut, his recovery could’ve taken as long as four to six weeks, said Nadim Koleilat, MD, the Sanford Health urologist who performed Taylor’s surgery.

“We’re at the cutting edge of technology providing our patients with the latest innovation in medicine,” Dr. Koleilat said.

In 2007, Dale Klein, MD, a family medicine doctor at Sanford North Mandan Clinic, first noticed Taylor had a slightly elevated level of a prostate-specific antigen—a protein produced by the prostate gland— during a routine physical. A PSA test measures the level of the protein, and higher-than-normal levels can be a warning sign for prostate cancer.

After that test, Dr. Klein continued to monitor Taylor’s PSA level, and Taylor started learning as much as he could about prostate cancer and treatment.

Ultimately, Dr. Klein referred Taylor to a urologist. Initial biopsies showed no reason for alarm, but, in April, Dr. Koleilat broke the news that Taylor felt was inevitable: He had prostate cancer, and a prostatectomy would be the best course of treatment.

  Dr. Nadim Koleilat
Koleilat, MD


Dr. Dale Klein
Dale Klein, MD
Family medicine
Taylor had a decision to make. He knew a few men who had good results with robotic-assisted surgery in Rochester, Minn., and he liked the idea of a minimally invasive procedure. However, he wasn’t thrilled with the thought of traveling more than 500 miles for surgery and any subsequent follow-up appointments.

When Sanford Health launched its robotic-assisted surgery program in the spring, Taylor’s mind was made up.

“From day one when I went to Dr. Koleilat, I was comfortable with him and his manner,” Taylor said. “It’s not something you want to go through, but it makes it a whole lot easier when you’re comfortable. Also, his staff is exceptional—both in knowledge and providing comfortable care.”

Click here for more information on Sanford Health’s latest innovation—robotic-assisted surgery, or call (701) 323-5202.


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