What to Expect from Prostate Cancer Surgery Recovery

Prostate cancer surgery recovery explained.

Prostate Cancer Surgery Recovery There are many things to expect during prostate cancer surgery recovery. Patients who have undergone prostate cancer surgery often report the pain to be relatively minimal. During prostate cancer surgery recovery,many patients are able to engage in normal activities shortly after surgery. Many of these patients don’t require pain medication and over-the-counter brands such as Tylenol or Motrin will typically work for most patients during prostate cancer surgery recovery.

In most prostatectomies, doctors like to have patients up the evening of the surgery engaging in activities such as walking around the floor. The next day, patients can expect to walk, eat breakfast and typically leave the hospital to go home to a more comfortable place for their prostate cancer surgery recovery.

David Albala:  What is the recovery like after prostate surgery, what can I expect, how much pain will I have?

These are important questions that patients should ask their physicians.  Typically, I am always impressed that patients that have undergone prostate surgery, whether its open techniques or robotic techniques that are used, the pain from this operation is relatively minimal.  Many of these patients don’t even use pain medication, Tylenol or a minor Motrin or you know those types of drugs typically work in most patients.  Some patients may require narcotic for a short period of time, but the pain that one has is very different than any other organ that I am familiar with.  These patients typically if they have a robotic technique done are typically in the hospital overnight and they are able to go home the next day with their catheter in place and the catheter stays in place for about one week after a robotic prostatectomy.

Some physicians like to get a special x-ray, a cystogram on their patients after a robotic prostatectomy, some don’t and that’s really a discussion that one should have with their individual physician.  If you have an open prostatectomy, some patients have their catheters removed as early as five to seven days even after an open prostatectomy, but in my experience, the catheters remain in place slightly longer in those patients that undergo robotic surgery, but what is impressive about prostate surgery is patients have a very little pain.  The most common complication that we see after either a robotic prostatectomy or an open prostatectomy is gas pain.  Once patients are able to start moving gas and passing gas, typically they can be up walking around without any problem.

In my prostatectomies, I liked to have patients up that evening, walking around the floor and then the next day, they will walk, they will eat breakfast, and then typically leave the hospital and go home and recover at home.  Patients can walk up and down stairs.  We don’t like to have patients lifting anything.  Whether you have it done robotically or an open surgical technique, the healing process of the body is the same.  One has to allow the sutures to work in the anastomosis where the bladder was sewn back to the urethra, that healing time is the same whether it is an open surgical procedure or a robotic procedure.  I do believe that the return to work and return to normal activities may be slightly quicker with the robotic technique.

Dr. David Albala
Dr. David M. Albala is Chief of Urology at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York and Medical Director for Associated Medical Professionals. He is considered a national and international authority in laparoscopic and robotic urological surgery and has been an active teacher in this area for over 20 years.


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