Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Ok, I’ve read a lot of stories online about men who have had robotic prostate surgeries, and I occasionally hear them complaining about their “bloating” problem. Ironically, an old friend of mine also told me about how he helped somebody out after prostate surgery. He picked him up at the hospital and drove him home, and the first thing he mentioned to me was how this guy had a “bloating” problem.

In yet another online story, a surgery patient actually suggested that you pack a loose-fitting pair of pants to go home in, because your waist line is too bloated up. (Well, I believe you should wear some loose fitting pants, but not for the same reason. I say it’s because you need room for the catheter and collection bag attached to your leg. )

A little background. What is the deal with bloating and da Vinci robotic surgery anyway?

Well, what happened in my da Vinci robotic surgery is that during the prep phase, they inserted something called a spring-loaded, blunt-tip instrument in my abdomen (not my intestines) and injected carbon dioxide gas to kind of inflate my insides.  CO2 is inert – meaning it doesn’t react with anything.

Why do they do that? In order to create internal “space” for my surgeon to see and to move around in and to better perform his operation.

After the surgery is done, they release the excess carbon dioxide.

Let me explain that I had the surgery, and I also experienced this so-called bloating. And most importantly, I have no agenda – this blog is my own idea and nobody is paying me to say anything – either positive or negative. All I can do is tell you my experience and, guess what, it wasn’t that bad for me.

In the recovery room, when the general anesthesia begins to wear off after surgery, you don’t feel much of anything. In fact, I felt no pain at all – anywhere. Especially “down there” where they did the cutting and removing. You can read my detailed account of pain after da vinci surgery here.

Later in my hospital room, as I tried to sit up to drink some tea or watch television, I felt like I had some “trapped” gas. At least that’s how I felt. It is somewhat annoying, but it is not bad, no way. Especially as compared to the pain you might feel after traditional or “open” surgery.

There was some pain from the one inch or so incision that they made in my belly button area to actually take the prostate gland out of my body. It feels like you just did a thousand sit-ups, but that’s a wholly different issue – we’re talking about bloating here.

Some call it bloating and I guess that’s accurate, but is it a major problem? No way. For me, it was an inconvenience and this so-called bloating gradually dissipated over the next couple of days or so. Then it was gone permanently.

I coined a phrase, the urological decafecta, which describes ten – yes 10 –  good things that happened to me after MY prostate surgery.  All cases of prostate cancer are different. You can read about my urological decafecta here.