prostate surgery

April 2016

Tendency to Drop Things After Prostate Surgery

By |April 22nd, 2016|

I had prostate removal surgery, and let me tell you a little about that first week at home after surgery (dropping everything).

I was 62 years old when I had da Vinci robotic prostate surgery and in pretty good overall health.  I played basketball in high school and tried to stay active in later life, kept my weight in check, and ate “right” whenever I could.  To my way of thinking, I was pretty normal, maybe even more fortunate than most.

What’s my point?  My point is that as an active guy, I normally didn’t drop stuff around the house.

After a couple of nights in the hospital, my wife drove me home on Day 3.

Now what’s important here is that after […]

June 2015

How Soon Are You Up After Robotic Prostate Surgery?

By |June 18th, 2015|

Before I went in for da Vinci robotic prostate surgery, my doctor told me, “we let you rest on the day of surgery, but then get you up the next day.”  Ok, that sounded reasonable to me.

In the back of my mind, I recall reading how some doctors recommend you get vertical after surgery, walk a few steps – if you can. It helps to get the blood flowing.  However, you have to follow your own doctor’s orders.

In my particular case, after the robotic surgery, I was wheeled up to my hospital room at about 12:00 noon, as I recall. Then at about 3:00 pm, I asked the nurse if I could get up and walk, knowing that my […]

Prostate surgery prep shaving – Should I shave my groin?

By |June 12th, 2015|

Before I went in for da Vinci prostate surgery, I wondered if I needed to shave my groin area. I don’t remember anyone saying anything to me about this. I thought,  “should I help them out and shave my groin?  They probably want me to do this. This will save a step, right?”

No, no, no.

About a week before my surgery, I had to go in for preadmission testing – click here for my post on prostate surgery preadmission details.

So I casually asked the preadmission nurse, do I need to shave my groin before surgery day?

No, she told me. We will do it during the surgical prep phase, if we need to.

Ok, but why you and not me?

One of the […]

May 2015

6 Incredible Stories of How I Pee Better After Prostate Surgery

By |May 5th, 2015|

These are MY stories.  All I can talk about is what happened to me after prostate surgery. All cases of prostate cancer are different. Your experience might be better or worse than mine.

Story #1  First Experience After Prostate Surgery

After my prostate surgery, I was at home taking it easy when the day arrived to have the catheter removed in the doctor’s office. My wife drove me over there and ten minutes later, the catheter was out.

Later that afternoon, I was lying on the sofa taking a nap, when I felt this slight urge to “go.” Why is it that when you sleep or take a nap, you have to take a whizz right after you wake up? What is […]

March 2015

Why My Doctor Uses the da Vinci Robot to Remove Cancerous Prostate Glands

By |March 20th, 2015|

The doctor who performed my prostatectomy was – like most urologists – originally trained to do the traditional or “open” type of prostate removal surgery. That’s where they make a 4″ to 6” incision in your groin and go in manually to remove your prostate.

Then the da Vinci Surgical System received approval in the U.S. and some doctors got on the robotic bandwagon and some did not. Today they have a choice – they can choose to do it the traditional (open) way or the robotic way.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the robotic method offers certain clear and distinct advantages compared to traditional or open surgery. There’s no argument there. Why? Because less invasive surgery offered by […]

February 2015

Why is a Bowel Cleanse Necessary for a da Vinci Robotic Prostatectomy?

By |February 23rd, 2015|

Yes, I had to do a bowel cleanse before my prostate surgery, just as I had to do before a routine colonoscopy. You know the program – first drink this fluid and then the toilet becomes your new-best friend for the next 12 hours or so.

But why?

Why do you have to go through this not-very-pleasant experience before prostate surgery?

I did some research and came up with two possible explanations.
#1) To clean the intestine of stool, food particles and fecal matter to reduce the chances of infection.
The thinking is that if you do a bowel cleanse before major abdominal or pelvic surgery, you lower your chances of infection. Since the prostate is located deep inside the abdomen, if there is […]

One Day After da Vinci Prostate Surgery

By |February 2nd, 2015|

It was 3:00 a.m. on the day after surgery, and I was awake in bed. So I decided to ask the night-shift nurse if I could get up and walk, and she said sure.  She unhooked my compression socks from the machine at the foot of the bed, unplugged my IV stand from the wall (to go on battery), and we proceeded to take a walk down the hall – and went a slightly further distance than my first walk (about 12 hours prior).

It felt good. I was trying to get my recovery moving along, you know, get the blood circulating. We walked all the way to the “window” this time and back. I wanted to go further, but […]

January 2015

Surgery Day: Da Vinci Robotic Prostate Surgery

By |January 27th, 2015|

This is how my surgery day went. Yours may be similar or different. Every case of prostate cancer is unique.
SURGERY DAY – My da Vinci robotic surgery is scheduled for 7:30 am, so I was told to arrive by 6:00am.

Nurse’s first prep me in a small, curtained off area, insert IV’s in both arms, because they want to use one in the operating room and one for backup. They take more blood samples.

White-compression socks are put on my lower legs to help prevent blood clotting.

I had used the Hibiclens® antiseptic cleanser in the shower at home. Don’t have to scrub hard, just make contact with the skin. Then at the hospital, a staff person gave me what I think […]

One Day Before da Vinci Prostate Surgery

By |January 19th, 2015|

Pretty soon it’s go time. Tomorrow is surgery day, and I’m supposed to be there first thing in the morning. My instructions: do not eat solid foods today, just clear liquids. The goal, I believe, is to clean out the colon. But why?

I think it has something to do with the fact that the prostate gland sits right next to, or on top of, the colon and when your doc is removing the prostate, he needs that nearby colon tissue to be empty and flexible and pliable.

I think cleaning out the colon is also standard practice for any surgery to lower the chances of infection.

So step #1 is no solid food today, and step #2 is start drinking the […]

Prostate Nerve Sparing: How I Tried to Lobby My Doctor

By |January 18th, 2015|

Ok, I had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and had scheduled da Vinci robotic surgery at the local hospital with my urologist. What am I thinking now?

I’m thinking about how – in a few short weeks – I am going to be in an operating room, knocked out, and my doctor is going to be snipping away down there in my groin area. How much is he going to take out?   Is he going to preserve my nerve bundles, or isn’t he?

So I called him up to “lobby” for my case. “… Doctor, I just want to remind you that of the 12 needle samples you took in my biopsy, only one showed any sign of prostate cancer. And […]

Prostate Biopsy: The Suprising Truth About How 2 Biopsies Can Be So Different

By |January 12th, 2015|

Yes, I had prostate cancer and, yes, I chose surgery to treat it. You may choose another form of therapy for your case, but there is one thing I found quite interesting about the surgical choice.

After prostate surgery, you learn your WHOLE cancer story. How much prostate cancer did I actually have (volume)? How widespread was it (staging)? How aggressive was it (grading)? Did the cancer leak out of the prostate gland and possibly spread or was it “organ confined?”

These are questions that can only be answered fully after the entire gland is removed during surgery and examined under a microscope in a lab. There the pathologist can analyze your entire prostate gland including other nearby tissue like seminal […]

One Man’s PSA History: the Rise to Prostate Cancer and the Fall After Prostate Surgery

By |January 4th, 2015|

Prostate cancer runs rampant in my family. I won’t bore you with the details, but it seems like most of the guys in my family are diagnosed with the disease when they hit their 60’s or 70’s.

So as a younger guy, this definitely got my attention. What to do? For starters, I was way more vigilant in checking my PSA level than your average Joe might have been.

As you can see from the graph below, I had been experiencing a pretty-steady, but slow rise over the years – then a big jump from PSA level 3 to 7 in one year.

I had a feeling it (prostate cancer) was coming, but when it looked like it had finally arrived, I […]

December 2014

Won’t My Prostate Cancer Spill Into My Body if I Have Surgery?

By |December 27th, 2014|

This is one of the questions I had before going in for prostate surgery. Ok, so my doctor is about to remove my prostate gland, which the biopsy has already said is cancerous. Is he going to slice it up in my body before he takes it out? If so, aren’t some of those cancer cells going to leak out into my body and stay behind even after the cancerous gland is removed? That can’t be a good thing.

For me, the quick answer was – nothing should leak out, and here’s why. (All I can talk about is my case – you have to talk to your doctor about how he handles this.)

When I had robotic prostatectomy, the surgeon […]

5 Reasons Why I’m Glad I chose da Vinci for my Prostate Cancer Surgery

By |December 3rd, 2014|

1) The prostate cancer is gone.
My doctor told me I had prostate cancer, and I’m a relatively young-ish guy (62) and in pretty good health and expect to live at least 20 years or more. Watchful waiting or active surveillance – no way, not for me. I chose the “gold standard” for treating organ-confined prostate cancer. That is, surgical removal (prostatectomy) by an experienced urologist with the assistance of a da Vinci robot.

It worked fantastically for treating my case of cancer, and how do I know that? Easy, I got my PSA tested after surgery and it went to zero, or undetectable, or <.01 ng/mL. Because my PSA level went to zero (or undetectable) after surgery and has stayed […]

November 2014

Bloating: What is the Real Story after Robotic Prostate Surgery?

By |November 30th, 2014|

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 […]

What is the Recovery Period Like After Prostate Surgery?

By |November 23rd, 2014|

Robotic prostate surgery recovery time
What’s the recovery period like after robotic prostate surgery?  When can I go back to work after prostate surgery?

If you are considering the da Vinci robotic form of prostate surgery, I just went through it, and I can tell you how the recovery period went for me.

First, I spent a couple of days in the hospital – could have been sent home after one night – but I decided to stay.  I had a private room, was getting great care, and was able to walk around the floor whenever I wanted to.  Why go home?

After two nights in the hospital, I was discharged and sent home.  Suggestion: make sure you know how to work the […]

June 2014

3 Things I Don’t Miss After Prostate Surgery

By |June 11th, 2014|

1) Dull Pelvic Pain
I occasionally had this dull ache somewhere deep down in the groin area. I don’t know why exactly, but my guess is that it had something to do with an enlarged and inflamed prostate gland. Throw in a little long-term prostatitis and there you have a number of reasons for this kind of pelvic ache.

Once in a while, it would even flare up to a point where it felt like a mule had kicked me in the rear end.

It never stopped me from doing anything, and I never took anything for it. But it was there a lot of the time, and I had it for so long, it was easy to forget about it on […]

May 2014

How I Got Up and Walked 3 Hours After da Vinci Robotic Surgery

By |May 19th, 2014|

I had read about how da Vinci robotic surgery was supposed to be “minimally invasive.” What exactly does that mean? I guess it means less cutting, less blood loss, less trauma to the body and faster recovery time. Was the advertising legit? Stay tuned, and I’ll tell you how my surgery went.

The doctor removed my prostate gland (prostatectomy) with the assistance of a da Vinci robotic surgical system. As I woke up in the recovery room afterwards, I lifted the light blanket that was covering me, and all I could see were 4 or 5 “keyholes” or dime shaped marks on my torso or abdomen. They didn’t look like incisions – I couldn’t see any stitches – they just […]

Is da Vinci Robotic Surgery Painful?

By |May 8th, 2014|

I had prostate cancer and chose to have it treated with surgery using the da Vinci® robotic surgical system. Did it hurt?   Stay tuned, and I’ll tell you all about it. I am an average guy without an agenda, so I’ll give you the straight info.

Before I answer the question, first a little background.  Let me walk you through the couple of days before and the couple of days after the surgery, so you’ll better understand my answer.

Before the surgery, I had to fast and then drink that colon flushing solution – just like you would before a routine colonoscopy.  Apparently, for pelvic area surgery, they want the colon completely empty.  So as anyone who has had a colonoscopy before […]

No One Told Me I Would Pee Like a Racehorse After Prostate Surgery

By |May 8th, 2014|

I had prostate cancer – it runs in my family going back at least 4 generations that I know of.  So for quite a long time, I had been more than casually interested in developments and scientific advances in the testing, diagnosing, and treatment of the disease.  Any story in a magazine or newspaper having to do with prostate cancer caught my eye – I consumed a lot of information over the years.  You might say I was studying all along, instead of cramming for the final.

The PSA test changed everything.  Early stage prostate cancer generally does not have any symptoms, so before the beginning of PSA testing, most men wouldn’t even go to see a doctor until they […]

Active Surveillance – FUGGEDABOUT IT – Why I Chose To Treat My Prostate Cancer

By |May 8th, 2014|

 

You’ve probably heard the buzz about how prostate cancer is being over-diagnosed and over-treated.  The strategy, as I – a non-medical person – understand it, is that many cases of prostate cancer are the so-called slow growing kind. So rather than seeking aggressive treatment now (which can lead to urinary, sexual and bowel problems), you “MONITOR” your situation by taking regular PSA tests, getting DRE’s (digital rectal exams), and biopsies.

The thinking (I guess) is that some other health problem is going to kill you first. In other words – YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING NOW – we’ll just “monitor” you. If you’re a patient in denial, you will love this!  Hey guys, my doctor told me I don’t […]

10 Great Things that Happened to Me After Prostate Surgery – The Urological Decafecta

By |May 6th, 2014|

I chose prostate surgery to treat my case of prostate cancer. You and your doctor may choose a different method.
When they wheeled me into the operating room, I had no idea that I would be receiving some “unadvertised” benefits.  Yes, prostate cancer was my diagnosis, and that is not a good thing, but I have to admit that I was more than pleasantly surprised after everything was said and done.

“The 3 goals of successful radical prostatectomy in descending order of importance are cancer control (margins), urinary continence, and potency.”1

 

Urologists sometimes speak of the ” trifecta.”  They’re not talking about horse racing – it’s a term that is sometimes used with prostate removal surgery. What do they mean?  In short, it describes […]

  1. http://www.roboticoncology.com/oncology-articles/organ-confined-prostate-cancer/#sthash.mRo6ONyS.dpuf []
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