Paul Kobie

Kidney Cancer Patient Stories

da Vinci® Robotic-Assisted Surgery
Paul Kobie

Paul Kobie said he would like to vote for Dr. Rosalia Viterbo at "Doctor of the Year" - if there were such a contest. "I'd vote 500 times!" said Paul. And with good reason.

Paul is a truck driver who routinely travels from New Jersey to Delaware. When he first noticed blood in his urine, he figured it was a kidney stone. After the second incident, he went to the doctor.

Searching for the best cancer hospital.

"I had a CAT Scan and MRI only to learn I had a cancerous mass on my left kidney," recalled Paul. "My wife was terrified. I calmed her down. Then she began searching for the best hospital."

Barbara made appointments for Paul at Fox Chase Cancer Center and another large Philadelphia hospital. His first stop was Fox Chase.

"After I met Dr. Viterbo, I asked my wife to cancel the other appointment. I wouldn't go anywhere else."

"Dr. Viterbo has a manner like she's known you your whole life. It is very comforting. I knew right then and there that she was the best doctor for me," said Paul.

Paul's surgery was performed in August 2007, not long after Dr. Viterbo joined the staff at Fox Chase. She used the latest technology, da Vinci® robotic-assisted surgery to perform the partial nephrectomy. It is a minimally invasive surgical procedure which allows for less bleeding, reduced scarring, shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery.

"It was the best hospital experience I've every had. I had no pain."

Although Paul only stayed in the hospital one night, he felt "it was the best hospital experience I've every had. I had no pain. The nurses are so nice. At one point my wife got lost and a volunteer personally walked her back to my room. You don't get that service at most hospitals."

"At many hospitals you are made to feel like just another patient. At Fox Chase you are made to feel very special."

Due to the da Vinci® surgical technique, Paul recovered quicker than he expected. "I had taken 8 weeks off of work, but I could have gone back earlier!"

Today, Paul is doing well. He sees his physicians for check ups and is cancer-free.

"I am so grateful to be okay."

"My daughter is graduating college this spring and I can't wait to be there for the celebration," said Paul, who is planning to travel this summer. "My wife and I travel every year. We took last year off while I was recovering. Next up will be Ireland, Mexico, Italy and Australia."

"Fox Chase is an incredible hospital."

Paul concluded by saying "I have never had an experience like I did at Fox Chase. Everyone - including the janitors, nurses, volunteers, food personnel, doctors and technicians, asked how I was doing. Fox Chase is an incredible hospital."