Just need alittle advice for post op

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 203
   Posted 4/7/2008 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I have posted on here once before and spoke with a very nice gentleman that helped us thru the beginnings of finding out my husband has prostate cancer.
His surgery is scheduled for this Thursday for a radical prostatectomy. He is only 51 and otherwise in great health. Even the nurse told him, at his pre admitting appt, that he didn't look like the person his chart said he was. He is very young for his age and this has just blind sided us.
My question is how to take care of him after the surgery. I'm so worried I won't do the right thing or see an infection or just miss something. I now I am being negative but I need someone to tell me what the lst few days are like at home. Even just the lst day would help me know what to do. I realize they will explain it before he leaves the hospital but to know from others that have been thru it would be so nice to hear. I'm just scared.
Thank you all so much. You are all so brave and strong. So many that want to help others. I feel blessed to be able to read all of your stories. I know its not a good place to be but to have everyone there to help, its wonderful.
Thank you
Age 51
Gleason 3+3
Diagnosed March 17
PSA 4.2 after 2 months of antibiotics. lst PSA was 5.2
Surgery scheduled for 4/10/08

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1464
   Posted 4/7/2008 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey VaFan,

I got home from the hospital about noon of the second day after the surgery. I sat in my recliner, situated the catheter and bag comfortably and prepared to be waited on by my wife for as long as possible. That lasted about 5 minutes before she told me to get up and walk like the doctor had told me. So I did about once and hour for 10 - 15 minutes each time. It took a while to get used to the catheter and a couple of times I forgot about the bag and walked away dragging it across the floor to the consternation of the cat. I posted my return to civilization here on the forum a couple of hours after I got home but sitting at the computer was pretty uncomfortable for a few days.

At night I pinned the bag to the edge of the bed and slept on that side so as not to get tangled up in the tube. Got tangled up anyway but did no permanent damage to my body parts and never did spill anything.

I followed the procedure for caring for the catheter very carefully and didn't get any infection. The catheter was in for six days and I was dry by the next day. I went back to work teaching school after 3 weeks and had no problems with the incision or the healing process.

The most pain I suffered happened when the cat would jump into my lap. Finally I put a pillow there so he would have a better place to land.

Good luck and please stay with us. We can all get well together...

Age 73. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2C Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Catheter out on 12/13/06.  Dry on 12/14/06.
Pathological stage: T2C N0 MX. Gleason 3+4.
PSAs from  1/3/07 - 1/17/08 0.00. 
Next PSA test on 7/17/08
"Patience is essential, attitude is everything."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1858
   Posted 4/7/2008 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't be scared. If there is one thing this site does, it is to fill you with confidence and optimism. Your husband will be fine. At 51 and in good condition he will bounce back well. Post surgery day 1 and 2 he will be sore and probably have some pain medication but this passes quickly and then he will be uncomfortable for a week or so rather than have any pain. In the early days he will need help getting out of bed (this is why other members suggest sleeping in a reclining easy-chair or if he has time beforehand fixing a strap or rope to the ceiling to help pull himself up). He will have a catheter fitted and early in the piece this is looked after by hospital staff. He will be shown how to take care of it before he goes home. Although he will find the catheter a nuisance it is usually there for only a couple of weeks. Early days incontinence is disconcerting and a real pain but it will improve rapidily during the following weeks. Steps can be taken to treat any erection ill effects in the months following after the operation. Infection is quite rare so I wouldn't let that overly concern you. As you can see here on HealingWell, we came through O.K. and so will he. Keep us posted on his progress.
1/05 PSA----2.9 3/06-----3.2 3/07-------4.1 5/07------3.9 All negative DREs
Aged 59 when diagnosed
Biopsy 6/07----4 of 10 cores positive for Adenocarcima-------bummer!
Core 1 <5%, core 2----50%, core 3----60%, core 4----50%
Biopsy Pathologist's comment:
Gleason 4+3=7 (80% grade 4) Stage T2c
Neither extracapsular nor perineural invasion is identified
CT scan and Bone scan show no evidence of metastases
Da Vinci RP Aug 10th 2007
Post-op pathology:
Positive for perineural invasion and 1 small focal extension
Negative at surgical margins, negative node and negative vesicle involvement
Some 4+4=8 identified ........upgraded to Gleason 8
PSA Oct 07 <0.1 undetectable
PSA Jan 08 <0.1 undetectable

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 203
   Posted 4/7/2008 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank you billymac and biker90. You gave me the advice I needed and made me laugh too. My husband didn't have any symtoms whatsoever but just got a simple blood test with a checkup. I am telling everyone now to just get the blood test..as early as 40.

Reading the forum is helping me. I tried not to read the stories cause I just got upset but now I see how much help and support is out there. We are all in this together and I am so glad I have found the positive and good people that you are.

I will keep you posted!


Age 51
Gleason 3+3
Diagnosed March 17
PSA 4.2 after 2 months of antibiotics. lst PSA was 5.2
Surgery scheduled for 4/10/08

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 4/7/2008 7:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome VaFan, to you and your husband.

You've been given good advice by the gents here and there will be more to follow, I'm sure!
I just wanted to let you know I felt the same way when my husband had his surgery. We didn't know about this site at the time so were pretty much on our own. I can tell you this, you'll both be fine. This is surgery, there will be discomfort, probably some pain. He may go through some emotional moments but that's perfectly normal. Some of the guys say the main thing they felt was relief and and others loss. The apprehension leading up to the surgery is stressful but you're almost there.

FYI - the second thread on the pc forum "Prostate Cancer Resources and Direct Links to Sites, Videos, Books, etc. to help with your research!" by one of our wonderful moderators, Bluebird, has so much information. It's very helpful.
Here is one of the links on Bluebird's post for supplies post surgery (not all are necessary but you'll have an idea of what you need) You can copy and past the link into the address bar if you don't want to get into too much info right now. www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=586391

I wish you all the best and we'll be looking for you here,
Husband Diagnosed 11/17/05 Age: 63 PSA: 7.96 No Symptoms
2/09/06: LRP - Post Pathology - Gleason 4+3 Stage T2b NO MX
3 mo. PSA: 11.8 Stage T3a
6 mo. PSA: 18.8 Stage IV Systemic w/ distant lymph node involvement
Start HT - Lupron 3 mo. shots
12/06/06: PSA 0.8
03/07/07: PSA 0.3
PSA - Undetectable since 6/07/07

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 300
   Posted 4/7/2008 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi VaFan,
Glad to have you here. Like you I had no idea what to expect after surgery, but thanks to the kind and knowledgeable people here at the forum, I got all the information I needed. I'm past that now but I can understand your anxiety. I was on the catheter for about three weeks due to complications, but like biker Jim, I developed methods to make things a little easier. On a lighter note, we forgot the night bag on our way to have the catheter removed (300 mile overnight trip). Improvised and rigged up a hot water bottle to the catheter LOL. Good luck to you. Everything will work out just fine. You are in our prayers.

Age 65
Diagnosed 10/12/07
PSA 6.3
Biopsy 18 core samples, 2 positive <5%
Stage T1a Gleason 6 (3+3)
LRP  1/29/08
Gleason 7 (3+4)
1 positive margin (.3cm)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 308
   Posted 4/7/2008 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Good Evening VaFan,
It will be just fine.  There seems to be some missing information about your husbands situation. I will assume you have researched all your options and are comfortable with your choices.  Dont rush into something you or your man feel you were scared into or have your doubts. 
 I had my surgery March 27th.  I choose the DaVinci or RRP.  My prep for surgery was clear liquids 24 hours or more and a enema before bedtime the night  before.  I brought very little to the hosp.  I got there at 1030 a.m. and walked into the Operating room at noon.  I was in surgery for 5 hours and in recovery for 3 ( a little long, I like to nap).
It is a long safe operation.  DaVinci has a little bleeding and the open a little more but either very safe.  The Family needs to get rest because your time to help is when he comes out of recovery.  I was out of it a little when I came out as expected.  Your husband will have a catheter in and his pee will be St. Patricks day GREEN.  This is normal..  It will get clearer by the hour.  He will have alot of liquid coming out.  His diet will be clear liquids right away and then if no other medical issues will likely return to a regular diet right away.  No remember I had the DaVanci and the open is just as safe but may differ in some what I say.  I had 3 or 4 doses of pain medication through my stay.  I was in the hosp. 30 hours.  Now if you have open he will likely be there longer and it makes no difference.
I did some work at a home computer 1-2 hours from day 3.  I had no pain meds except tylenol and Motrin taken alternatly every three hours.  There is a list I loved that I got on this site The little things you need.  I had alot of the list but I got the rest at the store in preparation.  Basketball pants were my favorite item for they snapped up the side for my day bag.  He will have a day and night bag ( little and big). 
I did too much day 3 and my urine looked like kool aid.  Normal I learned.  Watch fever over a 100.  F.  I took three days of anti-biotic after my catheter came out on day 7.
Everyone is different as to how the plumbing begins to work.  I leaked pretty good when catheter was removed but seems to be getting better every day.  Do Kegels, Do Kegels Do Kegels. ED was not a problem and returned in 9 days.
about a week after surgery you get your cath out and get your Path report and go from there.
I am 54 athletic and in good general health.  I am recovering just as expected.  Drive home in the most comfortable car.  No trucks or Jeeps the ride is everything.  Check out the list on this site.  It is worth it. 
God Bless
Diagnosed 01-08-08 @ 53 years old 
DRE normal - High PSA for 5 or more years
2004 Biospy negative - 2008 Biopsy positive (01-08-08)
10 cores, 1 positive and at 1% of that one core
Current PSA 6 - Bone and Ct scans negative
clinicalg Staged at T1C - Gleason 3+3 = 6
Robotic Da Vinci performed March 27th, 2008
University of Chicago
5 hour surgery , 3 hour recovery
Unexpected Cardiac issues appear and disappear?
Hospital stay 30 hours - Catheter out in 7 days  normaly expected leakage - Erectile funtion back on line 9 days 
Post Pathology T2C, Gleason 7, 10 % of both portions of prostate, Seminal vessels clear, fat tissue clear,Tumor on bottom of prostate distal, 1 positve margin distal at penis, going to meet with oncologist to discuss treatment options if any at this time.

Mike A
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 4/7/2008 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cindy,
Sorry to welcome you here, but welcome you indeed are. Rest is what he will need (I liked my recliner best), but you'll have to get him out of the chair as well. As his strength returns, walking will be good for him. At first the large bag will be on his catheter and I used that one at night. I hung it inside a 5 gallon pail. No worries about leaks or overflowing, and it makes it easy to carry around the house (My kids called me "bucket man"). I found that using the leg bag during the day gave me more freedom to walk around the house, out in the yard, etc. He'll need a pillow for his stomach to hug when he coughs, sneezes, etc.
You'll know quick enough in the unlikely event of an infection. My wife must have kissed my cheek 50 times the first week. "Love or temperature check?" I asked. "Both." was the reply.
Good Luck on Thursday, you and your husband will be in my thoughts and prayers.
June 2005 - Age 53 PSA 4.8 at regular physical October 2005 - After several rounds of anti-biotics, PSA 5.2 at Urlogist November 2005 - Biopsy negative July 2006 - PSA 5.9 at regular Physical October 2006 - After several more rounds of anti-biotics PSA 8.1 November 2006 - Second biopsy - Positive December 2006 - Gleason (3+4=7), Tumor T1c, CT Scan and Bone Scan Negative
January 2, 2007 Robotic Prostatectomy, University of Rochester Medical Center - Tumor confined but larger than thought, only one nerve able to be spared. Margins clear. February 2007 - Three to fo ur pads a day, no erection with viagara. April 2007 - First Post-Surgical PSA 0.02. Down to one pad a day.July, 2007 - Six Month Post-op: PSA 0.04 No change in ED. October, 2007 - Nine Month Post-op: PSA back down to 0.02!Almost totally dry! Only slight improvement in ED - Will try injections if not improved by next appointment. January 2008: One Year Post-OP PSA 0.02 still dripping, but improving. Tried 500 dose of MUSE for ED, no luck. Will try 1000.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 4/7/2008 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Remember, the fear of the unknown is by far the worst part of all this. The human body is amazing and will take care of itself. My Doc assured me that there is very little that you can do that would be terrible except for really yanking out the catheter!
the cath is the scariest thing to face, but he will become a pro in no time at all. PS - my wife emptied my bag only ONCE and that was immediately after coming home from the hospital. After that, I took care of it myself. Most guys use the large bag almost all the time. just let it lie on the floor. a Recliner is a MUST. I slept in the recliner since I found it easier than lying prone and avoiding the tangled tubes. My wife was also able to get a better night's sleep since she was not worried about me with her rolling over. You need your sleep too. The catheter bag does not need to be emptied during the night, usually.  I was always able to go all night without emptying it.
your husband will want a shower a day or two after surgery. It will feel good. Take the catheter bag off in the shower and he can just pour it down the drain. let the foley tube just hang during the shower. nothing will hurt it. Just let the shower water run over it and avoid having him lathering it up in case soap gets in his penis. After the shower, he tapes the foley tube to his leg (allowing some slack for movement) and then attaches the catheter bag and tapes that to his leg as well. He then can carry around the bag as long as it remains below his waist. No big deal. He can do all this himself.  The first few days i found an old fashioned style flannel night-shirt was great. it was like a hospital robe, but better. And i did not have to fuss with pants and snaps and a waist-band the first few days.  Eventually, the waistband did not bother my, but the first few days were uncertain. Also, these first days were more comfortable for me to go commando (no underwear). Boxers were my preference a couple days into it.
Do not worry about leaking urine/blood around the catheter where it exits the penis. there will also be blood tinged urine.
The first bowel movement is awful. Stuff will come out of his penis around the tube. frankly, it is a mess. it gets better.
Each day will QUICKLY get better.
Need any more painful details?? hahaha He will be fine. You take care of yourself too. Don't wait on him. He's a big boy. He needs to get up and walk.
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  www.roboticoncology.com
Saved both nerve bundles.
Path Report:  Stage T2cNxMx
-Gleason (3+3)6
-totally contained to prostate,
-10% involvement in L & R Mid lobes
PSA 0 at six weeks
Pad free on March 14 - (10 weeks.)
ED - Take 100mg viagra every night.
Totally usable erections at 10 weeks.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 4/7/2008 9:21 PM (GMT -6)   
tongue   Hi ~ Cindy and Loved Ones,


Welcome   to…   ~ HealingWell ~




A   Special   Warm Welcome  to  You !


Knowledge gives us POWER….  POWER takes away the fear.


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 Click  on  link  below for important information that will help you ~ help us!!


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The information (link) listed above is to help you get around the forum! 


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Welcome ~ New Friend from all the members here... on HealingWell.com


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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 4/7/2008 9:22 PM (GMT -6)   
:-)       Hey ~ Cindy & Loved Ones,


We’re glad you found all of us!!!


I know we can “all” make “Your Journey” smoother ~ just by being here for you!  

Thank you for reaching out!!! 


You’ve just made your own journey a lot smoother.  There are a lot of Helping Hands here… and just by reaching out like you did ~ you will have a much easier time.  We’ve been where you are now…. Knowing you aren’t alone… makes a big difference in psyche and spirit.


We will always be here for you… This is truly a great forum!!! ~ You have joined! You are now part our forum family ~ a group of wonderful individuals who are so willing to share their journey with you!  Please take time to follow the link in your Welcome Message above… it will help to ease some of the unknowns…


It helps “all of us” ~ to help you ~ if we know where you are on your path.

So ~ Please stay with us and take our hand when you need it!  Keep posting.... OKAY!!   


KNOWLEDGE IS POWER... and POWER conquers fear



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Your decision will be the right decision for you!!!



Buddy & I invite you to visit our personal thread “Our Journey”… listed in our signature below.

Hoping our experience can help you over at least one stepping-stone on your journey. 



Our thoughts and prayers will be with you as you continue to move forward in your search for answers… Stay Close!

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy 

mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina


v          We invite you to visit our personal thread:  Click Here:  “Our Journey” ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

4th PSA 2-13-2008 (23 months) Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)

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