hard hat work

Before I had my robotic prostate surgery, I had heard/seen some amazing stories about how fast certain guys were returning to work.  It sounded almost too good to be true, or maybe they were just cherry picking the best case scenarios.  But what is more typical – what is more reasonable?

Well, I had my prostate removed by a urologist with the assistance of a da Vinci robotic system, and all I can really talk about is what happened to me. In my case, I wanted to take my time – heal properly and not set any records.

First of all, the robotic method is designed to be less invasive, meaning less cutting, less blood loss. Instead of an open incision which your doctor would make in traditional prostate surgery, only small keyhole-type incisions are made for the robotic instruments, and they heal up pretty quickly – at least they did for me.

So it stands to reason, that your recovery is going to be faster if you have the robotic method, assuming no complications.

I was in the hospital for 2 nights (though it can be one night), then discharged home afterward with a catheter installed.

That first week at home, I was not going anywhere.  You have one hand on the urine-collection bag that is attached to your catheter, and you are moving around the house slowly – usually looking for a low place to hang the collection bag to free up both hands.

I was in no particular hurry to go anywhere or do anything, because I wanted everything to heal down there. In fact, you could say I totally babied myself that first week.  Why be a hero and overexert yourself and possibly do some damage? Let everything heal in due time, and then you don’t have to worry about possible complications.

So after about a week at home, I was scheduled to have the catheter removed in my doctor’s office. When it was taken out, I felt a lot better, even though I was now leaking urine like a sieve.  That’s when you start using the pads.

My doctor told me no driving for 2 weeks post surgery.  Why?  He said that you could experience a sudden gush of urine while driving and that could distract you and create a dangerous situation.

So after 10 days of being home after surgery, catheter now removed, I was feeling pretty good and decided to drive a short distance to Starbucks for a cup of coffee.  I was using Depends pads for urinary control, and they were working fairly well.  On Day 11, I was really feeling better and,  in my mind, could go anywhere – as long as it didn’t involve any lifting or physical exertion. Part time work in an office environment seemed very do-able.

However, you have to follow your own doctor’s orders for your case. 

For me, 6 weeks after surgery was the magic number to do anything I wanted, including lifting weights, exercising, etc.