VITUS Privatklinik

Patient Stories

Patients share their success stories


What patients say about the Vitus Private Clinic

Our patients have shared their personal experiences and stories with us.

They report on our treatment methods, successful operations and the recovery of their quality of life. Be inspired by their stories and learn how our innovative therapies have helped them to live a full life without the dreaded side effects of traditional treatments.

W. from Hanover

“Look at the guidelines.” Those were the words of my then urologist when I asked him about alternatives to prostatectomy, which he recommended as virtually no alternative after he diagnosed me, at age 49, with a prostate tumor (Gleason score 7a at PSA 3.86; 2 of his 12 punctures positive) in June 2016.

However, I was very afraid of the possible side effects (NW) such as possible incontinence, erectile dysfunction in at least 60% of all patients even years after the operation, as well as the complete loss of ejaculation – i.e. a future only so-called “dry orgasm”. As I had a “dry orgasm” in the future – and in the guidelines as alternatives to the complete ectomy only the active monitoring (I was too young for that) as well as the radiation therapy (8 weeks treatment with strict diet as well as mostly NW on the rectum otherwise likewise the NW as with the ectomy) are indicated, I began to investigate myself after other remedial methods. As a result, IRE treatment seemed to me the most promising and by far the least NW.

Biopsy at the Prostate Center then revealed a single positive specimen (Gleason 7a) from 50 punctures. The former urologist had apparently shot the same nest twice during his punctures.

Then, at the end of October 2016, the IRE surgery by Dr. Zapf and Dr. El Idrissi, which was completely painless and then accommodation for the following night in the clinic. In the afternoon, Dr. El Idrissi made a visit – everything was ok; only the unavoidable bladder catheter, which was inserted during the operation, pressed a little on the bladder floor. 30 hours after the IRE surgery, I was already on the train on the way back (3h) home. The bladder catheter was removed after 11 days by my new urologist (changed my urologist before the IRE surgery), and with the removal of the catheter also abruptly disappeared the slightly uncomfortable feeling when sitting or walking, which one feels when the catheter balloon presses lightly on the bladder floor. But it is bearable.

I did not experience any incontinence problems at all. Already 5 weeks after the surgery I managed to get an erection again. After about two to three months, the ejaculate was also completely free of old blood, which came from the wound in the prostate. Likewise, after three months, completely normal and satisfying sex was possible again, even if the ejaculate now consists mainly of prostate secretion, and the sperm density for childbearing may no longer be sufficient – you just can’t have everything.

Conclusion: After now one year after the IRE treatment, all urological functions (urination, erection, ejaculation with the above mentioned) work completely without any problems, my PSA level is 1.0 and all post-op MRIs did not show any pathological changes. So everything top! My express thanks here to Dr. Zapf and Dr. El Idrissi for the very successful treatment and the aftercare consultations with e.g. dietary recommendations, sports recommendations etc. In addition, I am of course very grateful to Prof. Dr. Stehling and again to Dr. Zapf for their pioneering work in the field of IRE in general.

The only downer of the entire treatment is the fact that my private health insurance company (DKV), pointing out that IRE treatment was not in the guidelines, did not reimburse a single cent of all IRE costs (for the IRE treatment itself as well as 3D biopsy and all pre- and post-op MRIs), and I had to bear all treatment costs myself.

In addition to sufficient medical indications, it is therefore urgently recommended to have something on the side for IRE treatment, because for financial policy reasons alone, it will probably be several years before IRE is included in the guidelines.


Last week was November 2, 2017, All Souls’ Day!

Exactly 5 years before, on that very day, I received the diagnosis “prostate cancer” in Vienna, and also the urgent admonition of my urologist to take the “royal road”! What was meant was to have the prostate radical removed, just to avoid the “high risk of metastases due to my youth” (46 at the time)……

It’s funny how you remember some dates, but the diagnosis of cancer hit me deep in the core!

Unfortunately, people only really appreciate many things when they have lost them or when the loss is imminent.

I have appreciated countless times over the past 5 years that I can exercise without having droplets in my pants, that I don’t have to wear “inserts”, drink a few beers without having to run to the bathroom right away, pee standing up and stop the stream as it suits me!

Yes, and I have “appreciated” uncounted orgasms and ejaculations, more appreciated than in all the many years before!!!

Forgive me for the blunt and prosaic language, I enjoy it all now, before it was just taken for granted.

My PSA value is stable at around 1.25. When I go for a screening today, the doctors don’t even realize that I had cancer. I admit that it amuses me when they want to do a palpation exam.

I still visit the urologist from back then occasionally, not because I expect anything from him, but just to demonstrate to him that IRE is a real and successful gentle treatment. He had strongly advised me against it 5 years ago!

That IRE that got me back from a cancer diagnosis on March 26, 2013. This date is also deeply etched in my memory, almost like my birthday. It was and still is a miracle for me!

To this day, I am grateful to Professor Stehling and his great team every time I live and act as a man as a matter of course – as stated above….

A good investment in your own life

A patient from Berlin

In mid-2016, I was successfully treated for a prostate carcinoma at the Prostate Center Offenbach / Main, using IRE, without any side effects.

I had decided on this new treatment method after my previous urologist in Berlin had advised me to have my prostate radically removed, but I was not particularly happy with this “solution”.

From the very first personal contacts with PC staff, I felt a firm confidence in the treatment path proposed to me.

The entire team of Prof. Dr. Stehling is characterized, in addition to the highest professional competence, above all by a high readiness to provide information on all questions, the consideration of personal appointments and, in particular, a respectful, always friendly and courteous treatment, combined with close medical support, of the patient.

A preliminary 3-D biopsy, which I was strongly advised to perform by the treating urologist, Dr. El Idrissi, then revealed further areas of treatment for complete tumor destruction.

All medical treatments and radiological follow-up examinations carried out on me at the Institute for Imaging Diagnostics so far have been optimized in their implementation to a particularly low personal stress potential, perfectly and reliably organized in terms of scheduling (also with service providers and medical contract partners) and always gave me the feeling of being in “good hands”.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire team at the Offenbach Prostate Center at the Institute for Imaging Diagnostics for the successful therapy I received and the resulting gain in quality of life, and I would also like to recommend it to others.

Talk to us on +49 069 50 50 00 980 or send us an e-mail using the contact form.

Michael Kirchsteiger

Quote: “…In the first period after the procedure (meaning the radical removal of the prostate) you will not miss the potency at all, because you will have enough to do with incontinence…” With this explanation, which I received verbatim, my urologist in Vienna tried to allay my concerns about the recommended “royal road”, which obviously, and from today’s perspective thank God, did not succeed. This was on November 2, 2012, All Souls’ Day in Catholic Austria, how appropriate for the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

This was preceded by two years of PSA checks, the value was constant around 4.5, and a “classic biopsy” that indicated prostate carcinoma on 3 of 10 samples with Gleason score 3+3.

So, at 47, I had the choice to continue living as an incontinent monk, or to die in a few years covered with metastases. This was the unanimous opinion of alternatively consulted physicians and the self-help group for prostate cancer patients in Vienna.

All the medicine available in Vienna – which likes to classify itself as world-class, albeit expensive – had no answer to the question of whether there might not be a more gentle, i.e. organ-preserving, method. Because of my “young” age and the expected rapid cell growth, I was told that rapid radical removal was absolutely advisable. All gentle methods would have dramatic side effects, however, only radiation and chemotherapy, were known.

After I myself had come across the Prostate Center via the Internet, and I had read as much as possible about the offered IRE method, a little hope awoke in me again for the first time. In the meantime, Christmas 2012 had arrived. Instead of the already assigned radical removal, I decided to have the initial examination performed at Prof. Stehling’s institute.

The result is that today, after 3D biopsy and IRE performed in March 2013, I am writing this review with a PSA of 1.29 with no significant side effects, a whole man, and no urological system limitations.

Overall, I can only say that from the first telephone inquiry at the Prostate Center, through all examinations and treatment steps, to the follow-up, every step was well explained, the care was extraordinarily professional and at the same time humanly very empathetic. After all, this disease is psychologically difficult for a man to cope with.

The public health insurance company refuses to reimburse the costs, arguing that an equivalent(!) therapy is available in Austria for the diagnosis of prostate carcinoma with radical removal. My arguments that radical removal with surgery, the likelihood of complications, hospitalization, and rehab would result in more costs and loss of contributions were not accepted. The reference to the EU Patient Directive, according to which the patient can choose the doctor within the EU, was also ignored. Currently, my supplemental insurance is reviewing the case. I may take further legal action to get the costs reimbursed. My impression was and is that in Austria only the existing instruments and methods are to be utilized to capacity, and not the interest of the patient is the focus.

Of course, I am aware that IRE is currently still considered an “experimental method”, but so were all modern, now established therapies at the beginning, even with radical removal there is a high residual risk and dramatic side effects.

I am confident that the next PSA test will confirm the success of the IRE. At least I have gained time for the time being!

Finally, another quote from my urologist after I showed him my PSA result AFTER the IRE “…this method (meaning IRE) is unknown in Austria, probably for good reason….” ?

For me, what remains is a great relief to have saved the prostate for the time being, an equally great gratitude for the team at the Prostate Center for the professional and humanly empathetic treatment and care, the hope that the success will continue as it currently looks, and a slight distress at the quality and ignorance of Austrian medicine and social insurance.

W. H.


I, your patient from the surgery date 17.05.2024, take the liberty of using this venerable old form of address for you as Dean of Prostate Cancer Therapies to express my special thanks. I was lucky that there are doctors like you who have the courage to expand the status quo knowledge, to practice it without stochastic long-term confirmation. This demand is in itself a contradiction, as the new and long-term experience do not go together in principle. Looking back, I would like to tell you with humility and gratitude, not to be confused with flattery, about my experience of how your treatment at the VITUS Private Clinic affected me and how I fared as a patient.

Just 52 days passed between the first contact on 28.03.24 and the surgery date on 15.05.24 at the Curanosticum. Whether Dr. Stephanovic, Ms. Osei-Bonsu or Ms. Ahmad in preparation for the operation, everything went like clockwork, even with the appointments at the Curanosticum. The detailed telephone consultation with Dr. Sens in an understandable non-medical language was a revelation for me, because as an engineer, the comparison with the Da Vinci operation simply seemed radio “logical” to me. The local urologists in the Zwickau area were and still are of the opinion that what radiates must be cut out immediately or die. That was too flat for me, which is why I chose the ALTA Clinic in Bielefeld 13 years ago. The rest is in my medical history.

The contract was signed on 16.05.24 with a prior explanation of the planned procedures with the latest images, in which the positions of the electrodes were also entered. Dr. Sens and Dr. Heringer left no question unanswered and I felt that I was in good hands. The equipment in my patient room was high quality and pleasant – no ostentatious or fancy. Nothing was missing. They have a knack for staff. From the cleaning staff, the nurses of mixed ages, the administrative staff and doctors, everyone was natural, professional and helpful. You get a little trip around the world in 1.5 days for free. Whether in the Czech Republic, Brazil, Spain, Africa or Australia etc., your international staff harmonize extraordinarily well, creating an indescribably open and pleasant atmosphere. An example of how humanity could live and work together in the future, without borders and aggression fueled by denominations, a kind of humane ethic. With your clinic, you prove every day that this is possible. Living and practising philosophy is a great art.

On 17.05.24 the time had come. Her anesthesiologist came to pick me up and explained that I would receive a rather gentle anesthetic. I was concerned with the forgetfulness afterwards. After positioning myself on the operating chair, I probably confirmed my most unusually comfortable position, after which it got dark at around 9.00 pm. At around 12.00 noon, a friendly face appeared in my increasingly bright field of vision. They survived everything well. The operation went without any major complications. You are now on a drip to flush the bladder. I felt a slight burning sensation in my genital area. There were no after-effects from the anesthetic and my brain check was also positive. As a thermodynamicist, the fundamental equations and special programming algorithms had to be used. Then we had lunch straight away. Shortly afterwards, the first bladder cramps appeared, which could be soothed by pulling back the bladder muscles and taking medication. Because the feeling of having to push the catheter out of my body as a foreign body increased at night, I asked the night nurse (Brazil) for medical support, which she quickly provided, after which I was able to rest. The sooner you develop the skill not to transfer the pressure to the bladder during bowel evacuation, the fewer cramps will occur.

A nice Spanish woman took me to the MRT the next morning. She acknowledged every suitable lying position on the slide-in with “perfect” and was very concerned about man and machine. This was followed by a detailed discharge interview with Dr. Heringer based on the discharge letter. The 14 days afterwards were important for me, as there was no urologist available to me in Zwickau. In particular, he emphasized the additional protective function of metformin, that in addition to my diabetes medication, a recurrence of cancer is also made more difficult. Finally, the friendly day nurse (Czech Republic) explained the urine drainage system to me in detail, how to disinfect everything and that failure to do so could lead to very unpleasant infections. With this compact information, we traveled 400 km back to Zwickau. The journey was not a pleasure, because sitting with a catheter inevitably leads to perineal and bladder irritation. Thanks to the documents I received for the aftercare, I coped well and the time passed without any major problems.

On the 6th day after the operation, I felt a strong burning sensation on the head of my penis early on. The cause was the first morning erection with a catheter. Joy and sorrow in equal measure. The blood circulation is still functioning and the nerve cords remain undamaged. That was great. My family doctor was unable to help me with my residual urine sonography, which is why I sought advice from the VITUS ward 3 days before the catheter was removed. A nice Australian woman explained to me the exact background and how the procedure normally works. Driving 800 km to have the catheter removed seemed unreasonable to me. Dr. Heringer once mentioned that some patients remove the catheter themselves. I discussed this with “Australia” and she recommended removing the catheter early at 8.00 a.m. in the shower with a full bladder so that there would be enough reaction time if there was urinary retention. She will call back to find out if everything went well. This is exactly what happened reliably 3 days later. The removal was unproblematic. A short incision removed the red sealing plug, the bladder pressure pressed the water out of the balloon and slowly the catheter slid out of the urethra with a large gush of urine. When the dripping stopped, the joy was great, because I was once again tight with zero diapers during the day. What a perfect job by you and your entire team. They have preserved my quality of life, which I would very probably have lost in the normal case of a status quo treatment with my infestation. You have my word. As long as I am alive, I will be available for long-term patient studies. You can use my personal data for your publications so that your preferred therapies receive the recognition they deserve, because they are in a different league. From a monetary point of view, too, they are worth every single euro. I also like to come back to the VITUS Private Clinic to have the follow-up checks carried out to the required quality.

In the meantime, I have already completed 1 week of office work after the 14 days of catheterization. Due to the lack of residual urine sonography, I decided to urinate standing up, because this initially required less bladder pressure and the amount was more visible. To put it in physical terms, the ballistic beam curve already feels wider than before the operation, although the internal healing process is still ongoing.

Yours sincerely

W. H.

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