Recovery time from open surgery.

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/30/2008 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   
In the summer I do strenuous physical work in a wilderness setting, days away from the nearest road and with phone service not available.  I'm scheduled for open surgery at the end of February and I'm wondering whether it is realistic to think I will be able to do my work this summer.  I work entirely alone and have no help available, so I can't afford a misjudgement on this.  I would really value people's feedback on this:  Would the prudent thing be to cancel my season, or is it realistic to think I will be completely recovered?  (I am in excellent health, other than this little prostate issue, and have gotten conflicting opinions on this question from two different urologists.)

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2331
   Posted 1/30/2008 7:32 PM (GMT -6)   
The general rule of thumb with abdominal surgery is a wait of 6 to 8 weeks before lifting more than 10 lbs. The surgery requires an incision thru skin, fat, muscle layers and peritoneum.

Recovery is usually rapid--the peritoneum, skin and fatty layer heal within days. Muscle takes the strain of intra-abdominal pressure and requires healing in two stages: (1) A thickened inflexible scar forms with nerve endings (2) Scar tissue becomes flexible and adapts to movement.

Healing must be allowed to occur to prevent weakness in the scar line and potential for rupture or herniation of the abdomen thru the weakened muscles. Exercise can begin at about 6 weeks and gradually build up to full use of the muscles.
Age 59 PSA 2.6 PSA velocity quadrupled in 1 yr 
1 of 12 biopsy cores positive (5% involvement) Open RP 6/21/06  Gleason 5
Cancer confined to prostate  Post-op PSA's non-detectable

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 218
   Posted 1/30/2008 7:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm at 6 weeks now and at this stage you feel well enough to do about anything. Tim gave me the same answer and after a bit more research I found a couple of stories were guys started weight lifting at 6 weeks and had problems. I think the Google search I did was "prostate surgery lifting."

Your surgeon will be your best guidance after the surgery, but Tim's word I think gives you a good idea for the moment.

12/06/07 DaVinci and open prostate surgery after difficulties in breathing stopped the davinci.
Walked a lot
90% control the day the catherter removed.
pad only for a sneeze before the week was out
No pads most of the second week.

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4462
   Posted 1/31/2008 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   

Each person heals differently, so remember that as you get answers here. 

I had open Sept. 24th.  At the 3 month mark in Dec., I felt and acted as if I were fully recovered.  Lifting and such was no problem.  I was in fairly good physical condition before and after surgery, but nothing requiring the heavy work you are asking about.  3 months for me was totally healed, in my opinion, for me.

Surgery last of Feb, 3 months is last of May.  If you start work a couple weeks after that, then I think you have gone beyond the longest period of time to restrict your activity as anyone has mentioned here.  It's your decision, make it in cooperation with your doctors and how you feel.  It's a hard call to make, but you should have a feel for how your body is healing by the 2 month mark.  Depending on your level of continence regained by that point, you may have to pack in a big supply of pads, or just go 'commando' and let it run down your leg during the day. devil If you are working alone, then you can probably get by with eyes Seriously, it's another thing to consider if you are gonna be isolated for weeks at a time, planning for what you may need.  Hopefully, you will heal and seal right up, and not have the dripping problem. 

James C. 
Help support the forums so they can support you: 
Age 60 
4/19/07   PSA 7.6, referred to Urologist, recheck 6.7 06/05/07
7/11/07   Biopsy- 16 core samples, size of gland around 76 cc. Staging pT2c
7/17/07   Path report:  3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe , GS 3/3:6. 
9/24/07   Retropubic Radical Prostatectomy performed 
9/26/07   Post-op Path Report: GS 3+3=6 Staging pT2c, 110gms, margins clear
10/15/07  ED- begin 25mg Viagra nightly, Fully continent
11/15/07  ED-continue 25mg Viagra, no response, begin Vacurect pump-
11/15/07  1st PSA-0.01
12/17/07  ED- 3 mts.-continue Viagra and pump-no change-no response
01/01/08  First use of Caverject 2.5mcg, successful, erections at last
01/14/08  Caverject abandoned due to pain and aching, Bimix ordered
01/27/08  5 attempts with Bimix, increasing dose each time, no useable result

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/6/2008 5:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Is surgery your only option?  If not, have you looked into cryotherapy or ablatherm HIFU.  Either one appears to be minimally invasive.

Post Edited (tullamore) : 2/6/2008 3:55:18 PM (GMT-7)

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