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 Foley catheter before you leave. The nurse should show you how to change it and empty it in a clean and antiseptic manner. The hospital provided me with 2 collection bags: a larger overnight bag and a smaller bag that attaches to your leg. I ended up using the larger bag 99% of the time at home, because the smaller collection bag just filled up too fast. I couldn’t even get through watching one football game without having to empty it.

The first week at home, you have to take it very easy.  You just had surgery and don’t want something to go wrong and have to go back to the hospital to get it corrected.  You read the newspaper, watch TV, take naps, convalesce.  Get used to moving around the house holding your catheter collection bag, which is kind of red (bloody) at first.

At night, you sleep on your back so as not to crimp the collection tube coming out of the catheter.  The silver lining is that you can get through the whole night and not have to get up to go to the bathroom.

A significant day for me was 7 days after discharge from the hospital – that’s when my catheter came out (your timing may be different).  I felt a lot better that day, but then the Depends absorbent pads come into play. Now, with the catheter removed,  you’re leaking urine – a lot. While the catheter is in, your body doesn’t have to “work” to control your urine flow, so now – all of a sudden – you’re on your own and you will probably leak urine 24×7.  I was told to start doing kegel exercises to work those pelvic floor muscles.  Changing absorbent pads frequently was annoying, but -at least for me – it was temporary.

My doctor told me no driving for the first 2 weeks, but at 10 days, I was feeling pretty good, so I drove to my local coffee shop in the morning,  and everything went well.   On Day 11, I really felt very good and could envision going back to a low stress office job, part time, if I really had to.

If you want further information, I kept a detailed  diary of my recovery from prostate surgery for about the first 60 days after the da Vinci robotic procedure. You can click on the link above to get a more detailed story.