The Florida Hospital Global Robotics Institute is headquartered at Florida Hospital Celebration Health, a resort-style medical facility located in the Disney-planned town of Celebration. In 2008, Florida Hospital’s clinical services expanded with the launch of the Global Robotics Institute. The Global Robotics Institute and Dr Patel’s medical practice, the Center for Urologic Cancer, were created out of a growing need in Florida for care of urologic cancer patients.
The Institute is under the medical direction of Vipul Patel, MD, FACS. Dr. Patel is a Baylor College of Medicine trained physician, who completed his residency and fellowship programs at the University of Miami. Prior to coming to Florida Hospital, Dr. Patel was Director of Minimally Invasive Urologic Surgery at The Ohio State University. He now leads an experienced team at GRI; some of who have been collaborating for over ten years.
This unique institute prides itself on patient care. It offers a concierge environment, which caters to the needs of patients from their initial call to their post-operative follow up visits. Each patient is treated as an individual and care is personalized to their specific medical history and needs.
Institutes such as GRI have helped Florida Hospital gain national recognition. For two consecutive years, the U.S. News & World Report has ranked Florida Hospital as the #1 hospital in the state, one of the best hospitals in the nation overall, and received specific recognition for their urology programs.
A Focus on Education and Global Impact
GRI’s Global Reach
Dr. Patel has traveled the world extensively to perform live surgeries and train physicians in the field of minimally invasive robotic surgery. He and members of his team travel on a monthly basis to perform lectures and surgeries internationally. His insight has impacted programs in England, Australia, Russia, Japan, Korea and Brazil, amongst many others.
In addition, Dr. Patel has received honorary professorships from Korean University, the Asian School of Urology, and the University of Lima. He also holds academic titles with the University of Milan, University of Central Florida, Nova Southeastern University, University of the State of Rio de Janeiro and Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro.
In July 2012, Dr. Patel received a distinguished international honor as an inductee to the Russian Academy of Science (RAS). Others in the past who have received this honor are globally recognized physicians, such as Dr. Michael DeBakey and Dr. James Watson. Among countless contributions to the field of prostate care, in 2008, Dr. Patel and his team formed and trained the Russian robotic surgery team and subsequently performed the first robotic prostatectomy in Russia.
In addition to teaching around the world, Dr. Patel has hosted and trained fellows from all over the world including Italy, Brazil, Korea, Chile, Israel and Venezuela.
“The Global Robotics Institute is a professional experience that changes your life. Dr Patel boosts your surgical skills and supports your career whenever and wherever you want to setup your program. When you have been a GRI Fellow, you will always feel as a part of the Team! The best team!” said Dr. Bernardo Rocco, a previous fellow who now helps to run a prestigious robotic program in Milan, Italy.
Patient Centric Approach
All types of patients come to the GRI, including NBA legend Oscar Robertson, known to fans as The Big O. He learned he had “The Big C (cancer)” after taking the simple diagnostic screening called prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
“Despite a lack of symptoms, my PSA rating had jumped from 3.9 to 5.3,” recalls 73-year-old Robertson. “When you learn that you have cancer, you look to find the best doctor for treatment. And the best truly means the most experienced ─ and that is exactly what Dr. Patel offered me.”
The Big O is now three years out from surgery and enjoying life. He has become a big advocate of cancer screening and education. Robertson has joined the board of directors of the International Prostate Cancer Foundation and is a very active member, lending his celebrity as one of the faces of the cause.
Brett Troia, an avid Ironman competitor, learned he had prostate cancer at the young age of 41. “Even though cancer runs in my family, the news was devastating,” he said. Despite his diagnosis, a mere few months after treatment Brett was back to competition, not only performing at his best but logging some of his best times to date.
“The Global Robotics Institute has a 99% patient satisfaction rating. We are in the medical practice of treating and curing patients, so of course, quality patient care is the key,” says Dr. Patel. “Seeing the improvements to a patient’s health is what makes it all worthwhile.”
“Each surgery is customized in relation to the patients’ progression of cancer, but our approach to treating prostate cancer always aims to achieve the ‘trifecta’ result,” says Dr. Patel. “First and foremost, the robotic prostatectomy removes the cancer. Our focus also includes a priority to quickly regain urinary continence and sexual function. This trifecta approach centers on the patient being able to resume a normal, healthy life free of cancer, following a short recovery. In robotic surgery experience equals outcomes. Having performed 7,500 robotic prostatectomies we rely on our experience daily to improve the outcomes going forward.”
Always a step ahead, the team now aims to achieve the ‘pentafecta’. In addition to the outcomes of the trifecta, the pentafecta results include no post-operation complications and negative surgical margins. This is the ultimate goal for each patient.
Continued Belief Early Detection Saves Lives
According to the American Cancer Society almost 30,000 men die from prostate cancer each year making it the leading cause of cancer related death amongst men in the United States. The disease strikes 1 in 7 men and proves to be fatal for 1 in 36 diagnosed. According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, the United States is estimated to see 233,000 new cases and 29,480 deaths attributed to prostate cancer, in the year 2014.
Is The Second Leading Cause of Cancer Death In Men Really Not Important?: PSA in Prevention & Detection:
In this fight, screening and early detection are instrumental in overcoming mortality. Prevention and treatment are historically dependent upon consistent testing practices and early diagnosis leads to survival rates over 90%.
Enter PSA, or Prostate-Specific Antigen – a substance produced by the prostate gland and key marker of significant prostate diseases. Assessing the levels of this substance, in men, helps to diagnose prostate cancer and ultimately save lives.
Since its inception in the early 1990s, this simple blood test has been used for routine screening and detection of prostate cancer. This test has resulted in a consistent, yearly reduction in the death rate associated with prostate cancer, as well as providing valuable insight needed to provide comprehensive patient care.
Since the advent of PSA screening there has been a 40% reduction in prostate cancer mortality. Despite this proven validity, the PSA screen has in the recent years emerged as a focus for much controversy. In May 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a government advisory panel, suggested that doctors stop using the PSA test as a means to screen men for prostate cancer. Their opinion was that screenings did not save lives but actually may cause harm.
The Controversy Clarified
When the USPSTF issued its recommendations against PSA screening the urologic community expressed its outrage. These new recommendations issued a Grade D rating for PSA-based screening, with the USPSTF discouraging its use in the practice of prostate cancer diagnosis. Urology physicians argue that these recommendations were made after a review and interpretation of available data that was both flawed and short term.
This creates a topic of grave concern in the urologic community; such recommendations pose a great disservice to men.
The Fight for a Resolution
Leaders throughout the urologic community including the American Urological Association (AUA), the American Cancer Society and Dr. Patel have joined together in opposition, vocalizing the shear importance of PSA screening for men – the only widely available test for prostate cancer. As one of the world’s foremost prostate cancer surgeons, Dr. Vipul Patel has intently assumed responsibility in urging the USPSTF to recant such negative recommendations.
By way of an online petition, Patel encouraged and urged supporters to engage by voicing concern at www.change.org. To date, 5,711 electronic signatures have been collected, over half of the desired 10,000 signatures, a number Dr. Patel believes will stage a successful stance for proposed legislation. His position, highlighted below, hinges on the belief that what is ultimately most important is forward movement & knowledge of this formidable disease.
“Though I enjoy taking care of prostate cancer patients, like any surgeon, I truly would love to be out of business one day, simply because we’ve identified a cure. PSA is a big part of that course, in addition to research and education. I am in the business of saving lives, and hopefully prevention will one day overcome intervention.” – Dr. Patel.
According to Patel, to discourage screenings would more than likely reverse any gains made in cancer cure rates to this point. This will cause devastating results in the forward movement of research and treatment of prostate cancer.
“Men diagnosed early with prostate cancer have greater than a 90% chance of cure. This ill-advised recommendation could mean a death sentence for thousands of men around the world. Whereas, I believe that every man deserves the right to know if he has cancer,” – Dr. Patel.
On March 12, 2013, exciting progress was made in the fight for change to these negative PSA recommendations. The South Carolina House passed a resolution to petition U.S. Congress to retract the USPSTF recommendations against PSA screening. With continued support of the movement, positive changes appear to be on the horizon.
A Reason to Recant
The argument is simple;the decision to be tested for prostate cancer is an individual decision with no single standard that applies to all men – nor should there be. When used and interpreted appropriately, PSA testing provides critical information in the diagnosis, pre-treatment staging, risk assessment and monitoring of prostate cancer patients. The benefits must not be discounted!
The importance of PSA testing is also strongly supported in a recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. According to this study conducted over a 23 year span following 695 men with prostate cancer, it was determined that there was a significant reduction in deaths after radical prostatectomies were performed verses men who only prescribed by watching waiting. This further supports the importance of PSA testing as it leads to detection of prostate cancer and provides the patient time to make informed decisions on their health.
To universally dismiss the PSA test before a suitable alternative to prostate cancer diagnosis is available would simply be an injustice to all men and their families.
For more information on the Florida Hospital Global Robotics Institute, Dr. Vipul Patel or questions regarding prostate cancer, please call the Global Robotics Institute at (866) 923-2863. You can also read more about GRI at GlobalRoboticsInstitute.com and by visiting GRI’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/CelebrationGRI. Dr. Patel’s office is located at 410 Celebration Place, Suite 200, Celebration, FL 34747.
Side Bar 1:
Blueprint for Men’s Health — A GRI Survivorship Program
Always an innovator, Patel has recently created Blueprint For Men’s Health – A GRI Survivorship Program, which caters to the families and patients of prostate cancer survivors. The Blueprint for Men’s Health program is a guide for patients to achieve a healthy lifestyle and an enhanced quality of life. It is a dynamic personalized health care plan, specifically focused on survivorship, evolving from a comprehensive, multidisciplinary assessment of the patient’s disease, the surgical treatment provided and their individualized needs as they develop over time. It encourages the patient to self-manage and adjust to the results of surgical or medicalintervention and the required ongoing follow-up. For more information on this program, visit globalroboticsinstitute.com/blueprint.
Side Bar 2:
What is the International Prostate Cancer Foundation (IPCF)?
Founded by Dr. Patel with the mission of ending prostate cancer, the IPCF funds research efforts, provides education regarding prostate cancer and promotes prostate cancer screening worldwide. Created with help from a team of expert doctors, prostate cancer patients, and community leaders, the spirit of the foundation is from within: a culmination of the inspirational ideas and the challenges faced by men with prostate cancer.
Having treated over 7,500 men, Patel along with the IPCF, have learned from the experiences of these men that a monumental challenge lies ahead: eradicating the cancer while preserving their quality of life. What makes IPCF unique is that it is lead by doctors that work with these patients on a daily basis. These men have searched their souls seeking support, inspiration and compassionate care – and it is this that IPCF ultimately seeks to fulfill.
“Our mission functions through three pillars: clinical research, education for both patients and physicians, and the recommendation and availability of global screenings.” – Vipul R. Patel, MD, IPCF Founder and Chairman
To get involved in the fight against prostate cancer or learn more about prostate cancer, please visit the International Prostate Cancer Foundation at www.fightingprostatecancer.com
International Prostate Cancer Foundation
52 Riley Road, Suite 322, Celebration, FL 34747 (407) 301-4299
Online: General, monthly, planning giving, matching, in honor/memory gifts can be made (through PayPal) at FightingProstateCancer.com
Side Bar 3:
Recently the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute released the following PSA screening guidelines:
INPUT INFO GRAPHIC HERE.
By Ashley Fialkowski and Kim Straw