Post Surgery Bowel Movement?

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/2/2008 4:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Had robotic surgery on Tuesday.  Removed prostate, both lymph nodes, some nerve bundel and seminal vesicles.  I would like input on two topics
1)  Started passing gas Thursday but haven't had a bowel movement.  Please share how long it was before you had a bowel movement and thoughts on when I should become concerned if it persists?
2) When I walk I get irritation where the catheter enters the penis.  Any suggestions to help with this?
I have not had any serious pain.  Last two nights I have taken 1 vicoden per night for sleep.  None during the day.  So I am very happy with how I feel.  Monday I get the biopsy results.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 5/2/2008 4:40 PM (GMT -6)   
1)My surgery was also on a Tuesday. My first BM was on Saturday morning, day 4, just as my surgeon had predicted (he said 3-5 days). I took stool softeners daily and did not have to force it.
Age 55
PSA 6.7
Needle biopsy: T1c Gleason 3+4=7...2 of 10 cores
Non-Robotic laparoscopic RP on 3/4/2008
Specimen pathology: T2C organ confined with clear margins. GS lowered to 6!
100% urinary continence since cath removal on 3/11/2008
ED resolved with Levitra
4/18/2008  1st PSA undetectable

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 5/2/2008 4:52 PM (GMT -6)   


Congrats on you arriving at the other side.  Healing and recovery begins from here...

I think it normally takes the bowel 4 days to refill if it has been purged clean with a pre-surgery cleanser.  Continue the stool softeners for a week or so after the first bowel movement is what was recommended to me...

Using Neosporin or such on the tip where the tube enters will relieve that soreness and lubricate it.   A further issue may be whether the tube is properly secured to the thigh with tape or velcro, eliminating the lovement that is making it sore? 

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
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   (Open) 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 50mg Viagra and Vacurect pump nightly, Fully continent
1/14/08  Caverject started/stopped, aching.  2/24/08 .5ml Bimix started-success
3/24/08   ED- 6 mts.-Viagra, pump, no response- Bimix continues
Post-surgery PSA's:  3 mt:0, 6 mt:0,

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 5/2/2008 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   

I used KY jelly on the head of the penis and Boudreaux's Butt Paste on my scrotum....because even then I had leakage!!!!

3 to 5 days for first BM is typical....use stool softeners or Milk of Magnesia, especially if you are taking hydrocodone (generic name of Vicodin).  You do NOT want to become constipated....can lead to serious discomfort, even hospitalization, if not addressed early.  Mine got so bad at one point that even two enemas in a 30 minute period hardly made a dent in the problem.....not a pleasant memory.

Danman Bob, Born 1951
Nerve-sparing, open prostate surgery November 13, 2007
Gleason score 9, PSA 14; Biopsy result - 9 of 12 sticks showed cancer
Post-op pathology stated that cancer was confined to the prostate
Unrelated surgery January 2008 delayed incontinence recovery, which is now showing good signs of improvement (fraction of a pad a day as of late April 2008)
100 MG Viagra 3 times a week beginning December 2007
Osbon Erec-Aid Esteem manual pump for therapy beginning mid-February 2008
30 MG papaverine/1 MG phentolamine bimix injections beginning late April 2008
Five week post-op PSA 0.2, five month post-op PSA 0.1, next test August 2008

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 5/2/2008 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Passing gas is a good sign -- it means your bowel is still working. I was about 4-5 days before my first BM too. Your bowel and whole digestive tract should be empty before surgery so it's going to be at least two days before anything gets from your mouth to "other end". After surgery, you will probably eat a bit less and maybe not your usual amount of fiber either. When BMs started, I found a cushion pressed over my abdomen helped with the suffering. :-)
As far as the catheter is concerned, I had a reasonable amount of slack in the catheter tube between penis and thigh leg band so that my penis was quite free to flap around. I didn't need any lubricant, but that would be a reasonable thing to try. Don't give up walking -- do as much as you can.

Age 63. Other than cancer, in good health
Left hemi-colectomy April 2006 (colon cancer)
PSA 5.7, Gleason 4+5=9
RRP 7 March 2008, non nerve sparing
Histology showed clear margins and lymph nodes
Two nights in hospital
Catheter and staples out after 7 days
Continent, no pads needed from the get-go
No erections (of course!)
Experimenting with VED and Bimix

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 5/2/2008 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the same problem with my catheter... watching the tube go in and out. I ended up taping the tube to my leg so that it had less play. My doctor also recommended neosporin on the tube where it enters the penis.
Age: 59

da Vinci Robotic Prostatectomy 4/25/08 - both nerves spared
Catheter removed 4/25
Prostate Pathology:
Gleason Grade 6 (3+3)
Apex: neg
Base: positive (tumor present at right and left base)
Peripheral Margins: neg
Foci of tumor present on both sides of prostate glands.
No extra postatic extension seen
No tumor seen in right or left vas deferens
No tumor seen in right or left seminal vessels
Based on specimen this tumor corresponds to a AJCC/pTMN stage II
High-grade HGPIN present
Continence: 1 pad night, 2 during day

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1858
   Posted 5/2/2008 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
The bowel movement time will vary with the individual..........the softener is a good idea but it will take a few days for things to get moving again. Don't will come to pass, so to speak. A very experienced nurse told me the old faithful baby-oil is better than commercial products things for the catheter. Cheap, easily obtained and keeps things lubricated for a long time. It doesn't become gluggy as personal lubricants may become after an hour or so. It certainly is an unusual feeling having that tube move in and out slightly as you walk. It is important to have it attached to your leg at just the right length..........a matter of trial and error.
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 Adenocarcinoma-------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 : 162
   Posted 5/2/2008 6:35 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi goinlong,

I had surgery on Monday and had my first bowel movement on thursday. I had to take milk of magnesia and suppositories along with my regular stool softener. After that I had all was normal but I'm still taking stool softener three times a day. I think all the medications causes some constipation.

about the catheter, I had the bag strapped all the way down just above my ankle and I used an extention tube to allow for the extra length. This way I was able to tape the tube coming out of the penis firmly to my leg. Also it was very easy to drain the bag as I would just put my foot on the toilet seat and focus the drain tube in the toilet bowl and open the valve. Obviously I had to wear wind breaker type pants with a zipper at the bottom to allow access to the bag. All the time I had the catheter in I didn't even know it was there.

Used Triple Antibiotic (Fougera) on the head of the penis to keep it soft and against infections.

Good luck


Biopsy done 3/2008
Pathology report: Gleason 6 (3+3), involving left lobe
DRE=15gm with indurated left base and mid prostate
Cores positive: left base medial, left base lateral, left mid medial and left mid lateral (4 of 12)
Clinical stage t2b.
Prostate Carcinorna 185
DaVinci Surgery on 4/21/2008 in Austin by Dr Randy Fagin.
Pathologist report upgraded to a Gleason 7 (3+4)
Clinical stage upgraded also to a T3a
Margins Clear

Post Edited (KrisP) : 5/2/2008 5:47:20 PM (GMT-6)

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