Columbus, OH,
14:30 PM

ABC6: News Anchor Kurt Ludlow explains his prostate surgery

On Monday, ABC6 news anchor Kurt Ludlow had surgery at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital to remove his prostate. Ludlow was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Urologist John Burgers, MD, used the DaVinci robot to remove the prostate.

Using the DaVinci means the surgery was minimally invasive. The surgeon sits at a console where he sees a magnified, three dimensional image from a camera inside the body. From the console, he is able to use his hands to control the tiny instruments to remove the prostate. 

"So as opposed to making an incision, we make little holes, fill the belly with gas, and that gas is what creates this space to work in," Burgers told Ludlow. "The instruments are placed into these holes and then they're attached to a robotic device. Now the advantage of that is whatever I do with my hands on the outside, it does for me on the inside. So it's as if I had you open, without opening you."

Because the DaVinci system allows for incredible dexterity, the surgeon is able to work around the surrounding nerves and muscles. Once he detached the prostate, it was removed through one of the small holes that was made.

It’s unlikely that Ludlow’s cancer has spread, because it was caught early following a routine screening. However, lymph nodes that were near the prostate will be sent to the lab for review, just to be sure.

"This isn't a death sentence," said Burgers. "It doesn't mean you're going to have a terrible life afterwards. We can now cure it because of the technology and all we have and because we find it early enough we can cure it and you can have a very normal lifestyle afterwards."

When he returns to work in a couple of weeks, Ludlow will take you into the operating room to share the story of what the surgery experience was like. You’ll be able to see that story on ABC6 and right here on the OhioHealth Newsroom.