My Story - RRP for enlarged prostate

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/25/2007 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
My post does not directly involve cancer.....rather an RRP for enlarged prostate. Thought I would share my adventure with you for what it's worth. For years, I have had an enlarged prostate with no prpblems nor signs of cancer, except a very high PSA number (26). about 4 weeks ago, while at my ranch in a rural area of California, I awoke to urinate about 3 AM and couldn't squeeze out a drop. Believing this would cure itself, I returnned to sleep. At 6 AM I had the same result and on through the day. I was beginning to feel uncomfortable in the groin area, but still did not give up on urinating. By the next morning, the pain had grown intense and my bladder area was noticiably protruding. I jumped into the car, and raced down the mountain to Bakersfield where I went to a local emergency hospital. After waiting 57 minutes at the registration port, I was finally seen by a triage nurse, who, upon seeing my distress, immediately dispatched me to a bed, and thereby probably saving me from uremic poisoning. Thereafter, a PA under the supervision of an MD inserted a Foley catheter. Unbeknownst to me, and obviously to her and the attending physician, they missed the bladder and it was draining very slowly, which they noted. However, it did give me some relief, for which I was very greatful. They were concerned about the slow drain and I advised that I had insurance and would be glad to check into the hospital until they found out what the problem was......they even discussed reinserting the catheter but for whatever reason, decided not to do so. They released me with a prescription for an antibiotic. Whereupon I drove to the nearest hotel and went to bed. The next day, being Saturday, I drove down to the big city, L.A., intending to see my urologist on Monday. The drain continued very slowly and the pain began to return. By Sunday evening, it was intense. I decided to again go to an emergency hospital. It was a well known, big name hospital and very crowded......2/3's of which seemed to consist of friends and relatives of the persons needing treatment. It was an hour and a half before I saw the triage person, who began asking me a series of very silly questions obviously designed for fourth graders, maybe third graders, or for persons not familiar with the English language. I told her directly and succintly what my problem was, that I probably needed a reinsertion of the Foley catheter, and was in great pain. She said I was fourth in line and help would be coming soon. Another hour and a half passed and I went to the reception and told them I was in intense pain......she smiled at me said she was sorry but they had no beds. I left, feeling that if my bladder was to burst, I would get better care from 911 technicians. I found two Vikkodan tablets from a 1996 RX which knocked me out. My doctor took me in early the next morning......his first words were "My God! They missed the bladder!" He reinserted the Foley...properly....a torrent of urine spewed forth under pressure that filled a 2000cc container in less than 5 seconds! The relief was overwhelming. I could write volumes on what are apparently misnamed as "emergency" hospitals....however, such is not my intent here. Thereafter, I went through three weeks of conservative therapy attempting to open the urethra or diminish the pressure of the prostate, to no avail. I investgated all of the less invasive procedures which were finally ruled out due to the size of my prostate (originally estimated a 150 grams with an actual of 130 grams) and the danger of inability to control the blood in the limited space allowed by transural surgery. The surgery took about an hour and a half, I was out for about three hours, in hospital 5 days not including day of surgery, was released by the doctor when the color of my urine returned to somewhat normal and the doctor saw that I was able to "pee and poop". I am now eleven days post surgery, in the sixth day post release from the hospital in a two week do nothing period, am able to control my bladder function, still have some pain in the bladder area and some seepage from the abdominal incision area. And, oh yes, my prostate came back from the lab cancer free. Interesting note, the first emergency hospital has billed me $2080. I have received notice that I will be receiving a bill from the second emergency hospital.....for services I never received! Cie la vie! I would be remiss if I didn't state that the care and kindness I received from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center care givers was was, and is, from my physician/surgeon and his staff. There is nothing like being able to depend upon good medical care and advice. Having said such, my opinion of this experience is sucks!....but it beats the alternative.   lou

Post Edited By Moderator (IdahoSurvivor) : 12/26/2007 11:02:02 AM (GMT-7)

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2358
   Posted 12/25/2007 10:15 PM (GMT -6)   

Holy Smokes, Lou, you really got put thru the medical ringer.  I'm so glad you were finally able to get some relief from the distended bladder.  It must have been awful.  Glad to know you are on the mend after your surgery and cancer free! 

And you are right about the vagaries of emergency medical care! Take care and hang in there...Tim


Age 59 PSA 2.6 (PSA velocity--quadrupled in 1yr) 
Bilateral nerve-sparing open RRP 6/21/06  Gleason 5
Cancer confined to prostate, post-op PSA's non-detectable

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 12/26/2007 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome, Lou, to our little group!  What an incredible story!  tongue


Your persistence paid off and I'm so happy you are on the mend.  I hope your story will be an example to others on how we need to be fully in charge of our health care (early and often) and how that persistence can pay off.


Kind regards,




P.S. By the way, I edited your post to add a subject for your topic.

"Idaho" ~ Barry


Da Vinci Surgery July 31, 2007… 54 on surgery day
PSA 4.3  Gleason 3+3=6  T2a  Confined to Prostate

1st PSA  9/11/2007   <0.04 (undetectable)

2nd PSA 12/10/2007  <0.04

My web site:

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/26/2007 7:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Tim and "Idaho Barry"....thank you for the replies and the good wishes. Today is day seven post hospitalization. I am glad to say, but a little afraid, that I awoke today feeling great! Good enough to start my morning exercises...but careful to stay away from any strain on my abdominal muscles....though I feel I could lift a fence rail! However, I am old enuf to obey orders. I learned a long time ago that when one goes to an expert for advice, it is foolish not to follow it. The doctor says no lifting, no straining, no driving for two weeks.....and two weeks it shall be! I visited your web page, Barry, and enjoyed it very much. You are doing a great service. Many thanks. lou

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/27/2007 3:31 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear Selmer: Thanks for the post. Yes....the care and comfort I received at Cedars-Sinai certainly surpassed my expectations and the fact that all of the rooms are private, actually small apartments, was a surprise. One of the care ladies told me that Alex Trebow, of the TV Jeopardy program had been in my bed the week before. So, if you go to Cedars, you'll never know whose bed you sleep in!

I don't know how they missed the bladder, or if that was a  euphemistic way to express some sort of medical mistake in the insertion process. It would be hard to miss the bladder as the uretha leads into the bladder.....maybe it did not penetrate far enough to allow the little balloon at the upper end of the catheter to seal the evacuation tube...or the upper part was in some way blocked preventing the urine from evacuating properly. Interesting note: I was amazed when I studied the Foley Catheter system with the simplicity of design for such a complex device. I asked my doctor what people did for the problem in the "old days". He told me that Benjamin Franklin suffered from difficulty in urination.....and in his day, they used a self inserted hollow river reed! many thanks...lou

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