3 weeks to surgery

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 158
   Posted 5/5/2008 4:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all!
I was wondering if I could get some info on things that you found useful and tips for after surgery care. My husband will be having DaVinci surgery on the 29th, I need HELP! Thanks to all! Christina

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 5/5/2008 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I found a recliner to be invaluable. In fact, i slept in it for the entire time the catheter was in. The bag did not tangle since I did not toss or turn. It also gave my wife a good night's sleep without worrying about me all the time. I was easily able to get up to empty if needed. If I woke up in the night, I just watched some TV - she did not hear a thing. YOU need to take care of yourself too and sleep well. I did not go out of the house for the first five days or so..until the pain eased. Everyone has a different technique on what to wear - some swear by wearing underwear, some hate it. Some wear the leg bag, others use the big one. For the first few days, I wore an old fashioned Night shirt which made access for the big bag very easy. Then, once pain subsided, the leg bag and flannel lounge pants were great for a walk outdoors. By the time I was going to remove the cath, I was wearing bluejeans and no one would have known. I found the large bag was easier since the small one filled quickly and you have to make sure the bag is well below the bladder. In a recliner this was hard to do with the leg bag.

This board is full of hints. I shaved my thighs so all those tapes would not hurt. Wish I had shaved my forearms too! I also shaved pubic area myself too. Involved my wife. It helped and made it fun.
He will have to be up and walking a lot, so don't wait on him. A good remote control is great along with a good book! make love a lot before surgery. it will help to go into it in good shape!
he'll be fine.
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.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 5/5/2008 5:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I guess everyone is different. After surgery, I made sure that I walked around the hospital hallway as soon as I was able to and walk as much as I can. Not sure if this helps but I had to drive about 3 hours after discharge to get home and I had no problem sitting in the front sest of a Passport without much discomfort. I took a doughnut for the trip but did not used it. One my first night and beyond I did not had any leaking probably of all the walking I did - not sure! Concerning the catheter I used an extension tubing so I can mount the bag to my lower leg (just above my ankle). This allows me to drain the bag easily by putting my leg on the toilet seat and open the valve.
Hope this helps.
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

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 5/5/2008 6:55 PM (GMT -6)   
eyes  my husband is having davinci surgery on tht 27th and I was so relieved to see your post! Somehow knowing that another wife is having my concerns at the same time is VERY comforting! I'll keep reading and hold good thoughts for all of us! Annie

dx. 3-08  @ age 63. gleason 6 . 1 out of 12 cores positive. 4th biopsy in 8 years. previous 3 negative. followed closley due to family hx.grandfather, father and 2 uncles dx. with prostate cancer. dre negative, cat and bone scan negative. davinci scheduled for may 27, 2008. 2 daughters, retired hospital administration, air force family years ago.

Gary H
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 5/5/2008 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Dirtmover & Soxfans4life It helps a lot if the catheter and his male ego dosen't move around. Tape the tube as close to it and get so lubercation for it cause it will get sore, and if you both have a sence of humer a pillow for his belly helps, a friend got me a bell for joke so I watching T V my wife was in the other room so I thought I would give it a try an when she came running in I broke out laughing so hard I was in tears for the pain in my stomach an from her running in to me.
 Age 48
 PSA 46 Oct (07)
 Gleason 3+4=7
 Biopsi 11 of 12 pos.
 DaVinci Jan 08 Dr W. Johnston
 Evanston Northwestern Illinois
 Post Op  PSA .7
 Started Lupron April 1st
 Radiation June (08)?????

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 5/5/2008 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes for sure, read back through the various posts and you will find information that will help.  I think all of us found comfort in the frank information and advice that has been offered here.  The period between diagnosis and treatment is very stressful.  DaVinci surgery presented no problems itself,  and the patient is able to get up and walk around the hospital halls hours after surgery, and is encouraged to do so as much as they are able.  My husband did not experience pain, except for the laproscopic gas which was pretty bad, especially up in his shoulder.  Most people don't seem to, so it kind of came as a huge surprise (read anxiety producer) since no one had mentioned that.   GasX or other may be indicated if this is a problem.  Stool softeners (dosage will vary) are also advised to reduce strain.  For comfort, a soft pillow, or doughnut to sit on,  and loose, knit lounge/sleep pants are great:  leg bag fits easily.  Soft enough to sleep in and hang out, easy to pull up the leg and check, and if dark, respectable enough to wear out and about.  We put a towel down on the bed and chair, but never needed it.  However, like many others, my husband had continuing leakage around the catheter point of exit, and so he started using the pads early.  Lots of water, easy to digest foods, lots of affection and support.  Spouse went home with a large stretch band that held the catheter end in place so he didn't need any tape.  Just removed it for the shower.  That relieved the prospect of pulling on the catheter. The bag snugs to the thigh with the velcro stretch bands. The whole catheter thing turned out to be easier than we'd expected after a bit of experience.  At night we plopped the large overnight bag into a plastic basin, but hitched to the bed frame to keep it upright.  My husband didn't need a recliner, but he found a preferred wing chair and we padded it with a comforter to make it a bit softer. Lots of liquids is in order.  If you have questions and can't find an answer here, do not hesitate to call the urologist, or the surgery department.  Prostate cancer is definitely a "we" problem and there are lots of wives going through the same thing.  Good luck!  Val's wife   
Age 59
PSA ; PSA 9/07=3.4; '06=3.2 DRE Negative; '05=2.4; '04=1.7
Biopsy 11/07 =  Stage T1c, 12 cores, 2 positive
Gleason score= 3+3=6
DaVinci Robotic RP surgery: 2/14/08
Path report: Gleason= 3+4=7; Stage T2c

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/5/2008 7:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Gary H - my husband age 46 was recently diagnosed and we just met with Dr. Johnston at ENH - can we email you personally to hear about your experience??
Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Gary H
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 5/5/2008 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   


 Age 48
 PSA 46 Oct (07)
 Gleason 3+4=7
 Biopsi 11 of 12 pos.
 DaVinci Jan 08 Dr W. Johnston
 Evanston Northwestern Illinois
 Post Op  PSA .7
 Started Lupron April 1st
 Radiation June (08)?????

Post Edited (Gary H) : 5/6/2008 5:15:34 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 5/6/2008 12:18 AM (GMT -6)   
If your hubby is mobile when he comes home, you shouldn't have many problems.
I slept in our regular bed, and really only needed help with getting the catheter night-bag organized for the the first few nights. (And meals of course!). I was very cautious rolling over in bed at first, for fear of pulling things apart. But I needn't have worried -- properly assembled, my catheter system proved quite rugged. I had no leaks, so that was an obvious advantage.
Daytime, I wore my regular clothing (baggy trousers to accommodate the day-bag ) and went for shorter walks than my usual.
Definitely do your own shaving beforehand -- inner thighs where the sticky anchors for the catheter will go, the stomach and top of the pubic area. I didn't do that and had a Brazilian at the same time the nurse changed my dressing -- ouch!
As your operations are three weeks away, I suggest hubby gets out walking, or jogging as much as possible beforehand -- the fitter he is before the operation, the better will be the recovery.

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

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 5/6/2008 6:45 AM (GMT -6)   

I had DaVinci surgery just over two weeks ago, and my experience so far has been excellent.

You're already doing what you need to do before the surgery - get information, talk to people that have been through it, read as much as you can. You've found a great forum for getting good information. And as you can see, having a positive attitude, as well as a sense of humor and a concern for health and well-being is 95% of what you need.

My surgery was scheduled for about 11:00 a.m. on a Friday. I was discharged around 3:00 p.m. the next day. I had started walking the halls on Saturday. I even walked down to the hospital entrance when I was discharged - declined to ride in a wheel chair. I had very little pain - took pills after getting home for just two days, and that was mainly for pain when I coughed ( they encourage you to cough to help your lungs recover from the anesthesia).

I agree with previous posts that it's helpful to have a recliner or other comfortable chair with an ottoman or something to rest your feet on. The doctor with advise that after the surgery, your husband should avoid sitting upright and putting weight on the perineal area. I didn't sleep in the chair overnight like others say they did, but it was where I spent most of my time during the day.

The catheter is what most guys, including myself, seem to dread the most. The thought of a tube hanging out of a place that I regard with reverence was revolting. ..;) But I have to say that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. And it's not as complicated to take care of as you might think. At the hospital, before discharge, one of the nurses made sure that I knew everything I needed to know and gave me all the supplies necessary. My wife's cousin (whose husband had the same surgery a few months ago) even volunteered to come over and administer her own loving catheter care :-)

I was able to sleep on my back most of the night, with the big bag resting in a plastic pail we use as a waste basket. I'd keep the big bag attached until after I showered in the morning, then I'd switch to the leg bag. Thigh straps with velcro were provided at the hospital to keep the catheter tube secured to the thigh ( to support the weight of the catheter and prevent tugging on the tip of the penis). Make sure they give you two thigh straps. That way, your husband can keep one on as he showers, and he'll have a dry strap to use with the leg bag when he dresses.

I bought a pair of baggy pants on clearance, anticipating that I'd be walking in my neighborhood with a leg bag attached to the catheter. I started walking - short walks at first - the day after I came home. I'd walk 5-6 times a day, and by the third day after surgery, I was walking about 2-3 miles ( five times around the block). The only problem I encountered walking was that the darn thigh strap would sometimes loosen up and start skooting down my leg, causing the tube to pull (ouch!). So I used a safety pin to secure the thigh strap to the bottom of my jockey underwear.

I noticed a few spots of blood and minor leakage around the tip of the penis - probably due to the irritation from the tube, so I used my wife's panty liners (the men's pads are too thick) for the problem.

I've now been without the catheter for over a week. I use 1-2 men's pads a day, and I've noticed that the continence is steadily improving. I walk 5 miles a day and feel great.
Columbus, Ohio Age 57
Diagnosed: 2-25-08
PSA: 7.3
Gleason Score: 3+3=6
Stage: T1c
Gland volume: 71 grams
Robot. Prostatectomy: 4-18-08 Riverside Methodist Hospital
Surgeon: Dr. John Burgers
Tumor volume: Less than 5% of prostate.
No extraprostatic extension or seminal vesicle invasion.
Margins were free of tumor.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 5/6/2008 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   

I found that my lazyboy with a pillow to provide extra support to your rear really made sleeping easy. We used a Harry and Davids Moose Munch container to put the catheter in, to keep it off the floor and keep it clean. I am a boxer man, but found that briefs worked best for me becouse it would help keep the catheter in place and from pulling. Baby wipes worked well with the stool softners. Lounge pants were very comfortable, and as they are baggy, hide the bag if you decide on useing a leg strap. I just carried the bag around in the Moose Much container, and only used the straps to go home, and when I went back to have the cath removed. I did not have any problems with gas, but did not want to eat much of anything for the first week, DO drink plenty of fluids, it helps flush out the drugs.


PSA 10 June 2007
Biopsy July 2, 16 of 16 samples positive
prostate weighed 40 grams
Di Venci 10/09/07, four hours on table, 3 in recovery
Total time in Hospital: 29 hours
Record for Dr. Lance, 65% of prostate had cancer, but NO spread, clean margins
Clean nodes,
First PSA at 5 weeks, UNDETECTABLE!
Catheter out at seven days, dry from hour one!
Second PSA 19 weeks post op, UNDETECTABLE 2/11/2008
The Lord has truly Blessed me.

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