Skin irritation after robotic surgery

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 4/7/2009 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a successful robotic prostatectomy more than three years ago. My PSA remains at a statistical zero and for that I am extremely grateful. When I was about three weeks out from surgery in 2005, my entire abdomen became inflamed and was bright red. Emergency room physicians diagnosed it as cellulitis and treated it with intravenous and oral antibiotics. My internist was not as certain that it was cellulitis and thought it more resembled an allergic reaction. At any rate it eventually went away. Since then I have occasional redness in the areas where the ports for the robotic surgery were inserted. Within the past six months, I have developed itchiness in these areas which seems to be generated from within. The skin in some of these areas is hard and scaly, while in other areas it is simply reddened. This seems to be getting worse and I know that I will probably need to see a doctor, possibly a dermatologist. I am wondering whether anyone else who had robotic surgery has experienced any continuing skin issues in the areas where the ports were inserted. Thanks for your replies.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 407
   Posted 4/7/2009 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm at the 6 months da Vinci post-op milepost and I've experienced no skin problems.  If I did have questions, though, I'd speak with both my Internist and Dermatologist, to get their opinions.

Age:  59 (58 at diagnosis - June, 2008)

April '08 PSA 4.8 ("free PSA" 7.9), up from 3.5 year prior

June '08 had biopsy, 2 days later told results positive but in less than 1% of sample

Gleason's 3+3=6

Developed sepsis 2 days post-biopsy, seriously ill in hospital for 3 days

Dr. recommended robotic removal using da Vinci

Surgery 9/10/08

Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

Dr. Robert Nadler, Urologist/Surgeon

Post-op Gleason's:  3+3, Tertiary 4

Margins:  Free

Bladder & Urethral:  Free

Seminal vesicles:  Not involved

Lymphatic/Vascular Invasion:  Not involved

Tumor:  T2c; Location:  Bilateral; Volume:  20%

Catheter:  Removed 12-days after surgery

Incontinent:  Yes (getting better, though)

Combination of Cialis and MUSE (alprostadil) three times weekly started 9-27-08

Returned to work 9-29-08 (18-19 days post-op)

PSA test result, post-op, 10/08: 0.0; 12/08: 0.0


Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4835
   Posted 4/8/2009 5:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I would go to a regular MD as soon as possible. If you had just had surgery three Weeks ago it'd be one thing...But after three Years..sure sounds more serious.

Age 54   - 5'11"   205lbs
Overall Heath Condition - Good
PSA - July 2007 & Jan 2008 -> 1.3
Biopsy - 03/04/08 -> Gleason 6 
06/25/08 - Da Vinci robotic laparoscopy
Catheter in for five weeks.
Dry after 3 months.
10/03/08 - 1st Quarter PSA -> less then .01
01/16/09 - 2nd Quarter PSA -> less then .01
Surgeon - Keith A. Waguespack, M.D.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 4/8/2009 7:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I think you should bring that to the attention of your doctor. What you are describing seems unusual to me... I'm over a year out from my DaVinci and can barely tell where the ports were.

Diagnosed Sep 2007 Age 54 Gleason 6 (3+3)
DaVinci Surgery 11/8/07 University of Minnesota
2/22/08, 8/15/08 PSA Undetectable

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 4/8/2009 7:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like a major allergic reaction, I would seek a dermatologist immediately, you have had this way too long, and this far out of your surgery, doesn't sound surgical related, at least not any more. Please keep us posted on this.

David in SC
Age 56, 56 at DX, PSA 7/7 5.8, 7/8 12.3,9/8 14.5
3rd Biopsy Sept 08: Positive 7 of 7 cores, 40-90%, Gleason 7, 4+3
Open RP surgery 11/14/8, Right nerves spared, 4 days hospital, staples out 11/24/8, 5th cath out on 1/19/9
Post-surgery Pathlogy Report:Gleason 3+4=7, pT2c, 42 grm, tumor 20%, Contained in capsular, clear margins, clear lymph nodes 
First PSA Post Surgery   2/9 .05, 6 month on 5/9

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1858
   Posted 4/8/2009 5:47 PM (GMT -6)   
This may or may not be pertinent to the skin problem you mention. There is a skin problem called "Dermatitis Herpetiformis" associated with Celiac disease (gluten intolerance) which manifests as intensely itching areas in varying parts of the body. It is neither a dermatitis nor a herpes disease but simply the skin's reaction to gluten intake if you are intolerant to gluten. It usually develops on the buttocks, abdomen, knees and elbows but can occur anywhere. You can carry the inactive G.I. gene ( which is more common among those of Irish and Scandinavian descent) with it not causing any indication, however the gene (and thus the intolerance) can be switched on by any physical trauma such as accident, childbirth (obviously not applicable here) or surgery. I had no problem and was completely unaware of it till I developed the skin problem myself some time after my surgery at 60 and let me tell you it was a long time being correctly diagnosed. Prevention is relatively simple by avoiding gluten like the plague but this is a real pain in the backside for it is a very common ingredient in most prepared foods. I hope what you have is something much simpler and more easily treated.
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
PSA April 08 <0.001 undetectable (disregarded due to lab "misreporting")
PSA August 08 <0.001 undetectable (disregarded due to lab "misreporting")
Post-op pathology rechecked by new lab:
Gleason downgraded to 4+3=7
Focal extension comprised of grade 3 cells
PSA September 08 <0.01 (new lab)
PSA February 09 <0.01

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