Back to Bach: Pianist Paul Capaccio Returns to His Music With Robot-Assisted Surgery at Chilton Hospital|
(Pompton Plains, NJ) – Routine annual Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood tests and prostate exams paid off for Paul Capaccio of Clifton when Dr. Burton Schlecker, head of Chilton’s Urology Department, detected his cancer early. “I wanted to get rid of the cancer,” Capaccio said, "so Dr. Schlecker recommended a robot-assisted prostatectomy using the state-of-the-art da Vinci Si HD Surgical System at Chilton."
A special viewing feature allowed his surgeon, Tricia Greene, MD, to see in high definition and 3-D during this delicate surgery, where access is limited and the area is surrounded by nerves. Compared to traditional open urologic surgery, a robot-assisted prostatectomy is less invasive with a shorter recovery time. Reduced pain and shorter hospital stay lead to a faster return to daily activities. There is less blood loss and scarring with little impact on continence and erectile function.
"I’m glad I made the decision to go to Chilton,” raved Capaccio. “Doctor Greene was terrific. She explained the whole process with pictures, and told my wife and me exactly what she was going to do and any after-effects to expect. She has expertise in her field, and was very confident and reassuring. She has a great bedside manner."
Early in the morning on the day of his surgery, when it was still cold and dark, Capaccio recalled that the atmosphere at Chilton was very warm and reassuring from pre-admission to discharge. Everyone was very caring, and he never felt like another number in line. "It’s not a big trauma center," Capaccio said. "It’s like a ‘Marcus Welby-type’ hospital: very cozy and very personable. I felt they cared about my pain at Chilton."
Capaccio is a trained professional concert pianist with two degrees from The Juilliard School, and he teaches privately. “Within three days of the operation, I was practicing on the piano, playing Bach, Beethoven and Chopin. Three weeks later, I was back to teaching full-time,” he reported. “Of course, you have to do everything slowly at first. Total recovery depends on doing what the doctors say. Do the exercises, and go for follow-up tests.”
Because his passion is ancient Roman history, Capaccio loves to travel to Italy every year, and classical music is his life. “I wasn’t going to let my cancer get in my way. There was never a question about going to Chilton.” It was a great decision to use them because they have a da Vinci surgical machine. It eliminated my cancer. My recovery is right on track, and I never look back,” he concludes.
Chilton Hospital is a fully accredited, 260-bed, acute-care, community hospital. It is a four-time recipient of the HealthGrades Specialty Excellence Award in Stroke, and Five Star Rated for Stroke Care, the highest possible, for six years in a row. Chilton’s many services include minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery, a state-of-the-art Emergency Department, a Pain Management center, the Sleep Health Institute, the Comprehensive Wound Healing/Hyperbaric Center, the Chilton Cancer Center, the Mother/Baby Center, an American Diabetes Association-recognized diabetes education program and a weight loss surgery program. Chilton has recently embarked on a $24 million modernization project, which includes the Cardiovascular Interventional Lab, the Comprehensive Breast Center and the Total Joint Center. The hospital is located at 97 West Parkway in Pompton Plains, NJ 07444. For more information about Chilton's facilities and services, or to find a doctor by name, specialty, or location, please visit www.chiltonhealth.org or call 1-888-CHILTON.