Don's Robotic Prostatectomy Story - Pella Regional Health Center

Getting Healthy: Step-by-Step

One benefit to growing older, according to Don DeBoef of Oskaloosa, is theDon DeBoef opportunity to take advantage of Medicare’s “Welcome to Medicare” exam with your local doctor, in addition to screening coverage for colonoscopies and PSA tests.

“My local doctor sent me to urologist Dr. Aaron Smith,” said DeBoef. “He didn’t like the feel of my prostate, but surprised me when he asked if I knew I had a kidney stone!”

It turned out that DeBoef’s stone was closer to a “boulder” and was the first problem that needed to be solved. Successful laser treatments in Oskaloosa prepared the “boulder” for surgery. In Des Moines, the kidney stone was mostly surgically removed, and then finished with another laser treatment.

The next step was to go to work on the prostate. A biopsy showed aggressive prostate cancer. Options were considered, and DeBoef decided to have Dr. Smith operate using a robotic surgical procedure at Pella Regional Health Center.

“I was all in favor of robotic surgery,” said DeBoef. “If I’m having it done, I want a robot to do it. That means my surgeon can see better, and I’ll have minimal pain.”

And minimal pain is exactly what happened for DeBoef.

“I had a prescription for pain medication,” said DeBoef. “I haven’t taken any of them. Some people do need them. Fortunately I didn’t.

“I really appreciated Dr. [Aaron] Smith,” said DeBoef. “After I was released from the hospital, he gave me his personal cell phone number to call if I had concerns. I didn’t call, but he called me! Wanted to know how I was doing. I’d recommend him and Pella Regional to anyone.”

DeBoef, who is retired, is now back to his volunteer work at Keo-Mah Genealogical Society, planning workshops on military genealogy and managing the genealogical library in Oskaloosa. But he encourages men to take advantage of Medicare’s recommended tests.

“I recommend men get their PSA tested regularly,” said DeBoef. “And when your numbers start going up, pay attention!”