Cart before the Horse?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 1/16/2008 10:31 AM (GMT -6)   
My Da-Vinci surgery is scheduled for 25 February 2008, perhaps I'm jumping the Gun, but may I ask the Class
(1) Those that had Da-Vinci, how long were you out of work?  My Surgeon suggested 4 weeks off before I return to my desk job that I have to travel 45 minutes to get to one-way.
(2) I've seen several posts about "Sitting" issues.  I have a Ergonomic Aeron Mesh seated chair at work, would that work, with some type of donut?
Thank You
Bob1949 (Bob)
Southern Maryland
Pre-Treatment PSA:  7.38
2004: Trus Biospy: Suspicious but followup
2007: Trus Biospy, 12 Samples, "Positive"
Gleason 3+3 = 6, T1C Diagnosed December 2007
Prostate, 60 grams
Age 58, 6'5, 233
Da-Vinci Scheduled: 25 February 2008 @
INOVA Fairfax Hospital, Fairfax Virginia
Dr. Simon S. Chung

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4462
   Posted 1/16/2008 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I can't answer the first, but as to the second:  I first tried a plastic blow up ring cushion, that didn't work, very uncomfortable, and no proper support.  I next bought a foam seat ring at the local Pharmacy supply store, cost about $22 , with a cloth removable cover and dense closed cell foam, just the ticket for the intended job. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 1/16/2008 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Sitting after even 4 weeks could still be painful. My nurse insisted that aside from the pain issue, due to the swelling, sitting for long periods of time will damage nerves. So, as long as you can stand and walk a lot you should be fine. Can you get an elevated computer desk where you can stand and work?
47 at Diagnosis.
Father died of Pca 4/07 at 86.
1/06 PSA 3.15
1/07 PSA 4.6      (Biopsy 3/07 just suspicious)
10/07 PSA 5.06   (Biopsy 11/07  1 of 12 with 8% involvment) (1mm)
Da Vinci surgery Jan 5, '08 at Mt. Sinai Hosp. NYC
Saved both nerve bundles.
Path Report:  Stage 2cNxMx
-Gleason (3+3)6
-totally contained to prostate,
-10% involvement in L & R Mid lobes

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 1/16/2008 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I can't remember exactly but I missed about five days of work after Da Vinci.  It really was not that bad.

DX 8/05 Gleason 5, Mayo clinic Second Opinion Gleason 6, PSA 2.8
Da Vinci surgery Dr. Dasari, Centennial Nashville 9/24/05
Pathology Report Gleason 6, 15 % on left side only very near to the edge of capsule, too close to call on margins, doc's said to watch it very closely, final decision T2A
PSA's have basically ranged from <.04 to .05 for two years.
no E.D. and no Incontinence, feel very blessed
PSA Nov 07 = .06
PSA Dec 10th 07 =.07

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 1/16/2008 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   

I took three weeks off away from work, but if you can get four weeks take em. I, too, have a 45 minute commute one way to work but the driving never bothered me.

I was very lucky in that I had no issues with sitting after surgery,not on the toilet immediately after surgery or my desk at work. I had a couple of cushions that friends provided for me but I never used them. Good luck.

Diagnosed: March 25, 2007. Age 49
Biopsy: Gleason 6. Five of twelve samples positive with <5% each. No perineural invasion seen.
Surgery: May 21, 2007
Post-op Pathology: Upgraded to Gleason 7 (3+4), negative margins, negative capsular penetration, negative seminal vesicles, lymph nodes left intact, multifocal perinural invasion, 15% of prosate involving cancer in both lobes. T2c
Continence: Out of pads at five weeks. Seven months post-op I'm fully continent.
Erections: Yes! With the assistance of Cialis.
Post Surgery PSA: Three tests, all <0.1
Family history: Great-great grandfather died from PC. My Father had his prostate removed at age 67 in 1997 and has had an undetectable PSA ever since. I was diagnosed at a much earlier age and had a more agressive cancer than my father. Go figure.

Cedar Chopper
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 432
   Posted 1/16/2008 11:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Bob 1949,

I took off 4 weeks and spent the time walking a little farther each day.
I went to work (with pads) and regained continence at 14 weeks.
Most take at least 4 weeks.  Some go back in 7 days!?  Many at 6 weeks.

The donut pillow works in many positions if you do NOT fill it up all the way.
Many here have also endorsed the foam cushion.
I did not need cushioning so much at 4 weeks - but everyone is different.

One note, I have had many different major surgeries and the prostatectomy seems to take a lot more energy out of the patient during recovery.  (There is a LOT of trauma in the pubic cavity from so much removal of "plumbing" [e.g. vas deferens, seminal vessels, prostrate, and all the connecting tissues.])  I fatigued much easier for longer than from even my spleenectomy/laperotomy (vehicle collision with a drunk driver) and it was not until 4 months after my radical prostatectomy that I really started getting my endurance back.

Just getting a little tired won't likely hurt you but watch to manage sadness/crying that comes from exhaustion and do NOT hurt yourself lifting anything heavy.

Your Friend,


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 1/16/2008 12:01 PM (GMT -6)   

I would say 4 weeks is good, I went back at 3 1/2 weeks for half days for a week and then extended my days, I did get a little tired by the end so I kind of built back up to it. I maybe could have gone back sooner but I had a small complication that caused me to have the catheter put back in and I had it for 2 1/2 weeks. I really didn't have much problems sitting and never used anything to sit on, I think getting up and moving around every once in a while is a good thing. Best of luck to you on your journey and we will be waiting for you on the other side, the time goes by quickly.
Age 49, PSA 6.22 on 9-26-06
Biopsy 11-01-06, 2 of 13 cores 10% cancer, 2 other cores abnormal Up-dated 20% prostate cancerous
Gleason score 3+3=6 After Pathology report 3+4=7 a couple agressive Grade 5 cells found
Da Vinci surgery 01-09-07 UW Madison
Pathology Report- cancer 100 % capsual contained 1-18-07
Catheter removed 1-18-07 suffered bladder spasms Catheter reattached 1-18-07 Catheter removed 2nd time 1-24-07
1st Post PSA Blood Test 3-22-07 <.1 Undetectable
2nd Post PSA Blood Test 7/5/07 <.1 Undetectable
3nd Post PSA Blood Test 11-12-07 .2 monitoring
Next Post PSA Blood Test Scheduled for 1-17-08
Incontenence-Pad free since end of May 07 4 1/2 months post surgery 
ED back to 95% prior to surgery - no medication required.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 1/16/2008 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Bob,

Welcome, I know you will find lots of support here and first hand knowledge to help your journey be a much smoother one.  Everyone heals at their own pace, depending on their systems etc. so it's kind of a personal individual decision when you return to work. We had the same question two weeks ago and got a lot of helpful suggestions. His doctor originally said to plan on at least 2 weeks off.  My husband had his DaVinci on Dec 31st and just returned to work today part time. 2 weeks and 2 days off.  He originally wanted to go back on Monday, but the doc suggested he take a few more days.  Those two extra days made a huge difference in his situation. If it were up to me, I would have kept him home the remainder of the week, he gets pretty tired by afternoon still. I sent him off to the office this morning with a cushion made from memory foam.  His continence has been pretty good thus far, knock on wood, but of course still wearing a pad for insurance.  Sneezing and coughing bring on a little leakage.  I told him it would not look appropriate in the office if he sneezed and held himself.  ha ha

Good Luck,
Husband 55 years old
No symptoms
PSA taken on routine health exam
06/18/07  PSA 9.2
07/14/07  Put on antibiotics for a month
09/18/07  PSA 8.77
09/18/07  PSA % Free  9.61
10/17/07  Biopsy =  Gleason 3 + 4  (7)
10/17/07  Biopsy 40% Right Side less than 5% Left Side
12/31/07  D Day!  Davinci Surgery Day - Jon Huntsman Cancer Institute
12/31/07  Left side nerves spared, Right side partial, right nodes taken
01/03/08  Home from the hospital! Let the healing begin!
01/11/08  Cath removed, post-op gleason 3 + 3 = 6, nodes clear
                Margins - capsular invasion but no penetration.  T2C

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 1/16/2008 7:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Bob. I am sure if you ask you Dr he will advise you on how long you should stay out of work. I know most people don't have that much sick leave but please do what your Dr tells you. I took six weeks off, per my Dr. but that was full time. I would go into the office visit, check my email and phone messages but did not get tied up with any real work for six weeks. My wife reminded me of what the Dr told me.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 1/17/2008 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I fully understand Mika, my wife will ensure I toe the line also and follow Dr's orders. I'm just not a guy that sits still alot, that may be the most difficult part in my immediate recovery. As far as my post, I have over a month til my scheduled Da-Vinci, so, Im trying to think of as many stupid questions as I can find now, rather than later ha ha :))
Bob1949 (Bob)
Southern Maryland
Pre-Treatment PSA:  7.38
2004: Trus Biospy: Suspicious but followup
2007: Trus Biospy, 12 Samples, "Positive"
Gleason 3+3 = 6, T1C Diagnosed December 2007
Prostate, 60 grams
Age 58, 6'5, 233
Da-Vinci Scheduled: 25 February 2008 @
INOVA Fairfax Hospital, Fairfax Virginia
Dr. Simon S. Chung

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 1/17/2008 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   

Similarly to one of the other responses, I went back to my desk job half time after 3.5 weeks, then extended to full time the following week. By the time I went back to work, I was having no problem sitting. The 4 week recommendation seems good, and shortly before you go back to work you should know if sitting is likely to be an issue.


Pete trips again!
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 1/17/2008 11:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Bob,
Well I guess I'm the dunb *** in the group! I went back to work after 2 weeks right after getting my staples out, actually I started at home after a couple days. My Doc had me keep my cath in for 3 weeks so I had that at work w/ me at 1st. Oh I also had R.P. not DaVinci. To tell you the truth, I really wanted to go back, I couldn't stand any more Opra on the tube! I was on pain meds for other reasons so that might have made it easier but as I remember, it wasn't that bad. I just bought a big pillow to sit on at my desk. I was also almost completly dry when I got the cath out. I just had a couple accidents while sleeping and some littke leaks while laughing, coughing or sneezing so that wasn't a problem either. I guess everyone is different so you'll just have to wait and see but I think most will agree when I say it wasn't near as bad as I thought it was going to be!
Your friend,
54 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg. Testosterone Theropy since 12/06. I am's what I am and that's all that I am!!! 

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 237
   Posted 1/17/2008 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I felt great and went back to work after two weeks. Mistake! I found that I was exhausted by mid-day and fell into bed by 8 pm and slept 10-11 hours. If I had it to do over again (thank God I don't!) I would take the full 4 weeks, which is what my dr recommended.
60 years old
Dx March 2007
Pre-Surgery Gleason 3+3 = 6
Clinical Stage: T1c
Biopsy: 1 in 10 positive
Da Vinci: June 7, 2007 
Post-Surgery Gleason 3+3 = 6
   Clear at margins
First Post-PSA Sept 07 = <.01 (Hooray!!)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 218
   Posted 1/17/2008 10:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't be afraid to say sorry no lifting. Even in an office, a lifting task could come up. And don't sit to long or you might find leakage is on the increase. Just standing will help but walking is better, at least it is to me.

12/06/07 DaVinci and LRP

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