UNDATED (KTHV) -- A young man in southwest Arkansas receives a diagnosis that would change his life, and undergoes a procedure his doctors had only performed once before.
Dr. T. Glenn Pait has his story in Today's Health.
"I started having really bad back pains after I started school in the Fall, and it went to the point that I started to get a fever," says Colton Waters.
On October 20, Waters went to the emergency room with a rising fever. After hours of testing - his doctors in Texarkana had bad news - testicular cancer. They referred him to specialists at UAMS.
"And then after I finished chemo, I came back to Dr. Campbell and he discussed the surgery options and everything."
Doctors advised him he might want to try a fairly new robotic surgery to remove the tumor - robotic retro-penile disection.
It's less invasive, with a shorter recovery.
But it's new. Doctor Mohamed Kamel would be the surgeon - Waters - his second patient to undergo the procedure.
"We are able to achieve the same outcome of open surgery but without the mobility of the surgery. I mean the long incision and the 10 to 15 days hospital stay," says Kamel.
On May 12, Waters was in the OR. The recovery process - he says, was surprisingly quick.
"I spent about four days in the hospital, and then I went home. I felt like if I was gonna have to be bed-ridden for a while, but I was back on my feet in a couple of weeks."
Just about two months later, "We classify him now as cancer free."
And now, waters is looking toward the future.
Many years ago, if you were diagnosed with testicular cancer, you had only a 50 or 60 percent chance of surviving.
But Kamel says -- thanks to advancements in chemotherapy -- radiation-- and surgical procedures like the one waters had -- the survival rate is now around 95 percent.