PSA timing after surgery

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 1/25/2009 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I had prostatectomy 12-30-08 (signature not updated yet). I am scheduled for 1st PSA follow up 4-16-09. Does anyone know the earliest you should have the 1st PSA test done? After reading here someone had there's done within a month of surgery I'm thinking about going to local urologist and have mine done earlier.
Tom, age 51
Diagnosed 11/12/2008
PSA 2006 - 2.8, 2007 3.06, 2008 4.6 (remember the rate of increase is as important as the level), PSA free 8.7%
Gleason score 7 (4+3); 6 out of 19 cores sampled positive for cancer; perineural invasion present
Bone scan and CT scan both negative
Prostate mildly enlarged, DRE negative
DaVinci radical prostatectomy 12/30/2008 - Duke Medical Center - left side nerves spared
Scheduled for catheter removal 1/15/2009

"Pick a good doctor and say your prayers"

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 1/25/2009 2:41 PM (GMT -6)   
That seems to vary with doctors between 4 and 12 weeks. My doctor doesnt like early ones, so I am about to have mine real close to the 3 months mark. Could be wrong, but I thought typical post surgery psa were done at 3, 6,9, and 12 months for the first year
Age 56, 56 at DX, PSA 7/7 5.8, 7/8 12.3, 9/8 14.9, 10/8 16.4
3rd Biopsy 9-2008 Positive 7 of 7 cores positive, 40 - 90%, G 4+3 & 3+4
Open RP surgery 11/14/8, Non-nerve sparing, 4 days hospital, staples out 11/24/8, Catheter out on 12/15/8. Stopped flowing, new catheter put in 12/16/08, Catheter out 12/29/08. Emergency room put in Catheter # day 45, 1/5/9 - Cath #3 out, dr. did cycloscope, saw potential blockage, put in Catheter #4, 1/13/9 - removed blockage, put in Cath #5, 1/19/9 -out
Post-surgery Pathlogy Report:Gleason 3+4=7, pT2c, 42 grams, tumor 20%, Contained in capsular, clear margins, clear lymph nodes 
First PSA Post Surgery  Scheduled now for 2/9/9

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 1/25/2009 3:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I had to wait 8 weeks after surgery for my first PSA.
Age: 54
Occupation: Mechanical Engineer
Home: Dallas/Fort Worth Area
Biopsy: 3/5/2008; Pre surgery: Gleason 6 (3+3), involving left lobe
Clinical stage: t2b. 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
First post surgery PSA = < 0.04 (Undetectable)
Second PSA (10/27/08) = < 0.1 Undetectable

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 1/25/2009 3:31 PM (GMT -6)   

A lot of Doctor's do a six week PSA, I believe to just get a heads up that something may be amiss.  I don't think they act on the six week PSA but if the three month test comes up with the same result there would be no need to wait another month or so to see if the results are the same.  A pattern has begun. 



 54 y.o.
 Diagnosed 4/10/08
 DRE Normal
 Biopsy- 12 cores, 4 positive highest 4+4=8
 Bone scan, CT scan and Chest X-ray clear 4/16/08
 Urologist suggested surgery 4/16/08
 MRI on 4/24/08 clear no suggestion of lymph node   involvement.
 4/24/08 -Started on Lupron and Casodex preparing for HDRT and IMRT in late July.  This treatment will not preclude me from surgery if I change my mind.
Decide to have DaVinci surgery after another consult with surgeon.
6/19/08- DaVinci surgery at University of Washington.
6/25/08- Path report, clear margins, no noted extension
9/12/08- PSA <0.02 
12/05/08-PSA <0.02 Six months after surgery 

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 180
   Posted 1/25/2009 3:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tobmeister,

Good luck with your outcome, I know you can't wait to see the Foley go.

Approx. half life for PSA is 2.5 days. Take your pre op PSA and make a table, I made mine based on 3 days to be on the generous side. If you are insured you are probably either already past your deductable even if not the biggest co-pay I have seen on PSA is about $10.00, your family Dr. can also order it if he does make sure it is coded 185 so as not to be viewed as a screening PSA.

I would also ask for a copy of the path report and the Drs. surgical notes for your personal education.

Best wishes. Scott
Diagnosed @ 48yo 04/07
focal, low volume tumor gleason 6
RRP 07/30/07
Persistance of PSA
IMRT 11/07-01/08
Emerg, cysto obstructed bladder 01/08
Persistance of PSA
08/08 learned Dr. left significant amount of prostate
12/08 saturation biopsy 36 cores 24 having normal prostate tissue
12/08 referred whole to med malprac attorney

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 1/25/2009 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
My surgery was 12/17/08. I'm scheduled for my first PSA blood draw on 3/25/09.

PC diagnosis @ 53 YO
PSA: 3.4 - 3.7 for preceeding 10 years, new GP advised Urologist visit

09/18/09 12 plug biopsy
09/29/09 PC diagnosis, 1 of 12 plugs, 5% cancer, Gleason 3+3 (6), left side plug w/cancer
12/17/09 da Vinci robotic radical prostatectomy, lab confirmed biopsy, 5%, PIN rest of prostrate, negative margins
12/29/09 catheter removed

current status: 3-4 pads/diapers a day, dry overnight, however; total ED

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 1/25/2009 4:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Here's what they say in Australia:

Since PSA is produced by both normal and cancer cells in the prostate, if all prostate cells have been removed at the operation, then the level of PSA ought to fall to almost zero, or less than 0.1 ng/ml. The time taken for the PSA to drop to this level after surgery depends on how high it was before the operation; however, in most cases, it should be undetectable at 3 months after surgery.


I had my first only 6 weeks after surgery, which seemed a bit early, but it was non-detectable at that point. I did try to sweat more and drink more ahead of the test, to give my body a chance to get rid of the PSA. Probably didn't really affect the reading.
Diagnosis at age 53. PSA 2007 about 2; PSA 2008 4.3
Biopsy September 2008: 6 of 12 cores positive; Gleason 4+3 = 7
CT and Bone scan negative
Da Vinci surgery at City of Hope December 8, 2008
Radical prostatectomy and lymph node dissection
Catheter out on 7th day, replaced on 8th day, out again 14th day following negative cystogram
pT2c; lymph nodes negative; microscopic margins
PSA 1/22/08 non-detectable! 8-)

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 1/25/2009 4:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a regular doctors appointment and sampling 8 days after surgery. In 8 days, my PSA had gone from 6.7 to .8. At the end of 6 weeks, it was and has stayed at .04 or undetectable.
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