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How Long Is Recovery After Prostate Surgery

What Are The Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Prostate Cancer Surgery?

Risk factors for prostate cancer include age, family history, race, and obesity. You may be at higher risk for prostate cancer if you are over age 50, have a family history of prostate cancer, are overweight, or if you are a Black man. See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Trouble passing urine

Why Is Exercise Important After Prostate Surgery

No matter how active and fit you were prior to surgery, you will experience reduced strength and be limited in your level of activity following your prostate removal. To return to normal activity, you will need to follow a sensible exercise program, adapted to your level of health and fitness. Realistically it will be six-eight weeks before you are back to your pre-surgical stamina and strength. However, you will be surprised that by employing a basic exercise program, as described in this article, how good you will feel in just a few weeks.

The following information is meant as a guide to help you plan your own exercise program. Prior to initiating significant post-operative exercise, you should share your plan with your physician.

What To Expect During And After Prostate Cancer Surgery

At the time of surgery, patients will have a urinary foley catheter placed in the urethra. Upon hospital discharge, patients will keep the urinary catheter with them for one week. Urine drains into a small bag that is strapped to the upper leg. There is a valve at the bottom of the bag to empty it from time to time. It will be necessary to drain the bag as it fills.

After the surgery and while still in the hospital, patients will begin digesting clear liquids. This will be followed by solid food based on the surgeons recommendations. The first bowel movement occurs three to four days later, which is normal. In order to make the first bowel movement as easy as possible, we recommend drinking prune juice daily, while taking a stool softener and laxative. These are highly important to consider because patients should minimize straining and pushing during a bowel movement after treatment.

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Getting Ready For Surgery

You and your care team will work together to get ready for your surgery. Help us keep you safe during your surgery by telling us if any of the following statements apply to you, even if youre not sure.

  • I take a blood thinner, such as:
  • I smoke or use an electronic smoking device, such as a vape pen, e-cigarette, or Juul®.
  • I use recreational drugs.
  • About Drinking Alcohol

    The amount of alcohol you drink can affect you during and after your surgery. Its important to talk with your healthcare providers about how much alcohol you drink. This will help us plan your care.

    • If you stop drinking alcohol suddenly, it can cause seizures, delirium, and death. If we know youre at risk for these problems, we can prescribe medications to help keep them from happening.
    • If you drink alcohol regularly, you may be at risk for other problems during and after your surgery. These include bleeding, infections, heart problems, and a longer hospital stay.

    Here are things you can do before your surgery to keep from having problems:

    • Be honest with your healthcare providers about how much alcohol you drink.
    • Try to stop drinking alcohol once your surgery is planned. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you:
    • Get a headache.
    • For information about being a health care agent, read How to Be a Health Care Agent.
    • If you have more questions about filling out a Health Care Proxy form, talk with your healthcare provider.

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    For Caregivers

    What To Do After Surgery


    After surgery, you will get detailed instructions to follow at home. For example, you will need to keep the surgical wound clean. You will also have to avoid driving for at least a week and engaging in vigorous activities for six weeks.

    After surgery, you will need to be careful with stairs you should only climb the stairs when necessary.

    Changing sitting positions is important for your recovery. You should not spend more than 45 minutes in one position. While youre healing, you should avoid soaking in bathtubs, hot tubs, and swimming pools.

    Since pain and discomfort are common after surgery, you will need to take medications to alleviate these symptoms.

    Although it may seem like you can do everything on your own, you should allow someone to help you until your catheter is removed. That way, you wont put too much pressure on your prostate and catheter or injure them accidentally.

    Within a day or two, you will need to have bowel movements. To make that happen, if you have constipation, you will have to take a fiber-rich diet, drink fluid, or take laxatives.

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    What To Expect After Surgery

    A prostatectomy is major surgery from which your body needs time to recover. Your doctor will discuss the details of your recovery with you.

    Typically patients stay in the hospital overnight after surgery and then need to recuperate at home for a month before returning to work. Most men can start to drive a few weeks after surgery. You should avoid heavy lifting for several weeks after surgery. It usually takes about six weeks for most men to feel back to normal.

    This page provides general information about what you can expect in the first hours and days right after surgery. You may also want to read more about:

    What Are The Benefits To Patients

    Robotics procedures, and minimally invasive surgeries in general, involve smaller incisions than traditional open surgeries, which reduces blood loss and postoperative recovery times. Patients typically experience significantly less pain and blood loss than in conventional open incision procedures. Patients also tend to enjoy quicker recovery times. Traditional open surgery can require several days of hospitalization and recovery time can last several months. While every case is unique, the return to normal, everyday activities following robotic-assisted surgery can occur in as little as two to three weeks.

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    Control Of The Lateral Pedicles And The Veil Of Aphrodite

    The lateral pedicles at the prostate vesical junction are controlled using Hem-o-lock clips and/or bipolar coagulation. The clips are applied close to the prostate, and the pedicle is divided between them . Once the dissection enters the plane between the prostatic fascia medially and the levator fascia laterally, electrocautery is avoided and the anterior nerve-sparing dissection proceeds using sharp cutting with scissors and blunt dissection using the grasper . This dissection proceeds distally to the puboprostatic ligaments.

    Several authors have also advocated a completely cautery-free or athermal dissection of the lateral pedicles to avoid any inadvertent damage to the neurovascular bundle. This can be achieved with laparoscopic bulldog clamps and oversewing of the neurovascular bundle for hemostasis. Although results of this technique have not been validated in large series, minimizing the use of cautery or other thermal hemostatic instruments during dissection near the neurovascular bundle seems prudent.

    Day Before Your Surgery

    Video 06 – 48 Hours After Surgery – Mark’s Prostate Cancer Experience

    Follow a light diet

    Follow a light diet, such as a small sandwich, eggs, toast, crackers, or soup. Limit the amount of dairy products you eat and drink, and avoid fried foods and foods with a lot of seasoning.

    Note the Time of Your Surgery

    A staff member from the Admitting Office will call you after 2 p.m. the day before your surgery. If your surgery is scheduled for a Monday, theyll call you the Friday before. If you do not get a call by 7 p.m., call .

    The staff member will tell you what time to arrive at the hospital for your surgery. Theyll also remind you where to go.

    Do your bowel preparation

    The night before your surgery, use a saline enema as instructed on the box.

    Shower With a 4% CHG Solution Antiseptic Skin Cleanser

    The night before your surgery, shower with a 4% CHG solution antiseptic skin cleanser.

  • Wash your hair with your usual shampoo and conditioner. Rinse your head well.
  • Wash your face and genital area with your usual soap. Rinse your body well with warm water.
  • Open the 4% CHG solution bottle. Pour some into your hand or a clean washcloth.
  • Move away from the shower stream. Rub the 4% CHG solution gently over your body from your neck to your feet. Do not put it on your face or genital area.
  • Move back into the shower stream to rinse off the 4% CHG solution. Use warm water.
  • Dry yourself off with a clean towel.
  • Do not use any lotion, cream, deodorant, makeup, powder, perfume, or cologne after your shower.


    Go to bed early and get a full nights sleep.

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    What Are The Risks Of Robotic

    As with any major surgery done under general anesthesia, there is a certain amount of risk, including heart attack, stroke and death. Preoperative assessment of a patients overall health is part of the surgical workup at UC Davis. Prostatectomies, including those done with a robotic-assisted surgery system, are also associated with the risks of impotence and incontinence.

    What About Problems With Urinary Continence

    Urinary continence depends on the internal, involuntary sphincter and the voluntary striated external sphincter. The internal sphincter is removed during all forms of prostatectomy, as it is anatomically at the junction of the prostate and bladder. Performing specialized Kegel exercises after surgery to strengthen muscles enables patients to control their external sphincter and gain continence . This takes several weeks to several months. Overall, significant urinary leakage occurs in only 0.5 percent of UC Davis patients. About 15 percent of patients report mild stress incontinence.

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    Transurethral Resection Of The Prostate : Home Recovery

    Take it easy for the first month or so while you heal after transurethral resection of the prostate. During the first few weeks, you may feel burning when you pass urine. You may also feel like you have to urinate often. These sensations will go away. If your urine becomes bright red, it means that the treated area is bleeding. This may happen on and off for a month or so after a TURP. If this occurs, rest and drink plenty of fluids until the bleeding stops.

    Risks Of Radical Prostatectomy

    4 Months After Prostatectomy

    Radical prostatectomy has a low risk of serious complications. Death or serious disability caused by radical prostatectomy is extremely rare.

    Still, complications from unintended nerve damage can happen after radical prostatectomy. They include:

    Urinary incontinence. This means trouble controlling your urine, leaking, or dribbling. If you have incontinence, talk to your doctor about treatments that can help.

    Erectile dysfunction . Problems with erections are common after prostatectomy. Still, most men are able to have sex after prostatectomy while using medicines for ED , an external pump, or injectable medications. The younger you are, the higher the chance that youâll be able to get erections after surgery.

    Most doctors think you can help yourself regain your ability to get erections if you try to get one as soon as possible once your body has had time to heal â often several weeks after your surgery. This is called âpenile rehabilitation.â Talk to your doctor before you try it.

    Much of the skill involved in radical prostatectomy centers on sparing these nerves during the operation. A man undergoing radical prostatectomy by a surgeon at an advanced prostate cancer center has a better chance of keeping their sexual and urinary function.

    Other complications of radical prostatectomy include:

    • Bleeding after the operation
    • Narrowing of the urethra, blocking urine flow

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    Are There Differences Between Orp Lrp And Ralrp

    According to a 2010 of different surgery types for prostate cancer, the outcomes for open radical prostatectomy , laparoscopic , and robotic-assisted prostatectomy are not significantly different.

    But people who choose LRP and RALRP may experience:

    • less blood loss
    • shorter hospital stay
    • faster recovery time

    Also, people who choose RALRP report faster recovery in continence and decreased hospital stay, in comparison to LRP. But the overall outcomes still depend on the surgeons experience and skill.

    What Type Of Patients Are Candidates For Robotic Prostatectomy

    Robotic laparoscopic prostatectomy is used to treat patients who have clinically localized prostate cancer. Most patients who are candidates for open radical prostatectomy are also excellent candidates for the robotic approach. In many centers including the University of Florida, the robotic approached is the treatment of choice for the surgical management of clinically localized prostate cancer.

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    Prostatectomy: What To Expect

    Many prostate cancer patients dont need surgery. But for young patients with prostate cancer that hasnt spread, a surgery called a prostatectomy can help them become cancer-free and put prostate cancer treatment behind them. John Davis, M.D., a urologist who performs hundreds of prostatectomies each year, explains what patients undergoing this procedure can expect, including prostatectomy side effects and risks.

    What is a prostatectomy?

    A prostatectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer surgery types include:

    • Robotic prostate cancer surgery: In this procedure, called robotic radical prostatectomy, a surgeon makes several small incisions in the lower abdomen and uses a robotic device to remove the prostate.
    • Open radical prostatectomy: The surgeon makes one large incision in the lower abdomen to remove the prostate.

    Robotic radical prostatectomies have become increasingly common over the years, and most surgeons prefer to conduct the procedure this way because its a little easier on them. But its important to know that both methods are safe.

    Who needs a prostatectomy?

    For some patients, prostatectomies will be the only treatment they undergo. Others who may have a difficult time recovering from surgery or have more advanced cancer may also have chemotherapy or hormone therapy treatment as well.

    How long does it take to recover from a prostatectomy?

    What side effects do patients experience following prostate removal?

    Caring For The Incision

    Video 04 – 24 Hours After Surgery – Mark’s Prostate Cancer Experience

    You will be able to take a shower the second day after your surgery. You may continue to have some discharge at the drain site for three to five days. Once you leave the hospital, the key words on caring for the drain site and incisions are clean and dry. Showering once a day and gently patting the area with a clean towel should be sufficient.

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    When To Seek Medical Advice

    While you’re recovering, you should contact a GP immediately or call 111 if:

    • you have a high temperature
    • you have severe pain when peeing
    • there’s a lot of blood in your pee or this gets worse
    • there are blood clots in your pee

    These symptoms can be a sign of a problem, such as internal bleeding or a urinary infection, that needs to be treated.

    Page last reviewed: 14 September 2021 Next review due: 14 September 2024

    When To Call Your Doctor Or Nurse

    Its important to tell your doctor or nurse if:

    • your bladder feels full or your catheter isnt draining urine
    • your catheter leaks or falls out
    • your urine contains blood clots, turns cloudy, dark or red, or has a strong smell
    • you have a fever
    • you feel sick or vomit
    • you get cramps in your stomach area that will not go away
    • you get pain or swelling in the muscles in your lower legs.

    Your doctor or nurse will let you know if you should go to the hospital.

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    How Will I Know If I Have Pushed Myself Too Far

    Weakness, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and feeling flushed are some feelings associated with doing too much. You will notice that you will tire sooner with less exercise than before. You may also feel some discomfort, warmth, or stretch down in the pelvic area. When you exercise you should try to stop and rest before these symptoms become too severe. Push yourself but be sensible. It is better to do several shorter periods of exercise rather than a few longer ones.

    What About Stretching Or Yoga

    Prostate Cancer Recurrence Survival Rates

    Stretching can also be started almost immediately, even while in the hospital. Again it is important to start very gently and sensibly by listening to your body. If you feel pulling or it hurts, STOP.

    • When stretching you should follow a few rules.
    • Stretch on an empty stomach. Wait at least 2 hours after a meal
    • Wear loose fitting clothing
    • Practice in a warm room after warming up the muscles, for instance, after walking.
    • Do not hold your breath during the exercises but breathe evenly throughout the stretch.

    Types of stretching include modified forms of old friends you have done since your first P.E. class. The first one you may try is simply standing in place. First check your posture by standing against a wall. If standing correctly your buttock, shoulders and back of head should be pressed against the wall. Straighten your back and legs and feel the stretch. BREATHE. Gently tighten your stomach muscles by pulling them in to the wall. Stop if you feel any discomfort. Do this several times, for a couple of minutes each time. As you feel able, you can do the same stretch on the rug or floor.

    With time you will be able to work on bending more during the stretch. A modified toe touch is performed by starting in the standing position and gently bending your neck then shoulders forward. Stop if it hurts, but do a little more each day. The object is bending and loosening your back and shoulders, not to touch your toes.

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    Development Of The Extraperitoneal Space

    This step is performed using a 30° upward-looking lens. A transverse peritoneal incision is made extending from the left to the right medial umbilical ligament and extended in an inverted U-shaped manner to the level of the vasa on either side. The vasa can also be divided at this point to aid in bladder mobility. The extraperitoneal space is developed after the medial and median umbilical ligaments are transected, allowing the bladder, prostate, and bowel to drop posterior and the remainder of the operation to be performed extraperitoneally . Some authors fill the bladder to help identify the planes of dissection and to aid in dropping the bladder posteriorly.

    A 0° lens is used for optimum visualization, and 1:3 scaling is used for lymphadenectomy. Lymphadenectomy is performed at the surgeons discretion if the preoperative serum prostate-specific antigen value exceeds 10 ng/mL, the biopsy Gleason score is greater than 6, or more than 50% of the biopsy cores are positive for cancer. The anatomic boundaries of the limited bilateral pelvic nodes dissection include the iliac artery superiorly, the obturator nerve inferiorly, the iliac bifurcation cranially, and the obturator fossa caudally. The nodal package is sent for frozen-section analysis only if the nodes appear grossly enlarged.


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