Doctors removed Joe Torre's cancerous prostate gland Thursday morning, and the prognosis for the New York Yankees' manager appeared to be "excellent," according to the lead surgeon.
"It was very routine," said Dr. William Catalona, a pioneer in the detection and treatment of prostate cancer. "I think he had a very early prostate cancer and it went very smoothly."
Lab tests on the removed gland won't be complete for a few days, said Catalona, but indications are the cancer had not spread.
"The way it looked to the naked eye, the prognosis is excellent."
Torre, 58, underwent the nearly three-hour surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where he is expected to remain for 3-4 days. His wife, Ali, was with him at the hospital.
Catalona said Torre seemed at ease prior the surgery, even joking with doctors. Wehling said hundreds of well-wishers have called the hospital or sent flowers to Torre's room.
Torre will recuperate in Florida, said Jeff Wehling, a family friend who also spoke at the news conference.
There is no timetable for Torre's return to the World Series champions, but Catalona said his patients typically go back to work no earlier than six weeks after surgery.
"I'm going to encourage him not to go back too soon," Catalona said. "He's got a very stressful job."
Torre was diagnosed with cancer during a routine exam at the Yankees' spring training camp in Tampa, Fla.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American men and the second deadliest behind lung cancer. The walnut-sized prostate gland is at the base of the bladder in men. Men 50 and older are most at risk.
| Doctors are calling Joe Torre's surgery a success. (AP)|
Catalona was recommended by former Yankees general manager Bob Watson and Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial, hospital officials said. Catalona performed successful prostate cancer surgery on both men.
Catalona is internationally known for developing the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for early detection of prostate cancer. And, he developed a surgical technique known as nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy. The procedure generally results in fewer impotence problems than conventional prostate surgery.
Torre also has strong ties to St. Louis. He was a four-time all-star for the Cardinals, for whom he played from 1969-74. He was the National League's Most Valuable Player award winner in 1971, whe he hit .363 with 137 runs batted in, both tops in the league.
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