Stool softener

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New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/10/2009 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I just finished a bottle of 60 and am due to go in for my first psa check in a week. Should I be taking more of those things or is the reason I was told to take them passed now? Or should I call the Doc's office on Monday and ask them if I should continue on them?

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 5/10/2009 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   
For starters, welcome here. Glad you found us. As for your question, are you now having BM's fine on your own? Are you struggling, or is it painful? It's not about how many you take, it's about how many you need to help you get regular again. Did you have recent PC surgery? Kind of sounds like you did, or perhaps some other treatment method. If you wish, include some more information about your self. It certainly wouldn't hurt to simply ask your doctor, no such thing as a dumb question to them, so ask away.

As for my own example, took them for about two weeks after my surgery once I was home from the hospital. Then I was regular again and able to go without any pain or struggle, I simply stopped taking them.

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 Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 5/10/2009 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
You should add your information to your sig since it will help everyone to see what stage you are at.

Stool softeners have two general purposes. First to help establish bowel function shortly after surgery -- ideally bowel function should resume 3-5 days post surgery. The second purpose is to prevent you from damaging your newly repaired parts by straining too hard when passing a stool. I presume that you are at least six weeks post surgery. If your bowel movements have been regular and without much strain you are probably past the need for the stool softeners. Try going without for a day or two and if everything is OK you no longer need them. If you find yourself constipated, go back to the softeners and ask your doctor about possible dietary changes.

Wishing you a a zero for your first PSA
Age at diagnosis 67, PSA 5.5
Biopsy 12/08 12 cores, 8 positive
Gleason 3 + 4 = 7
CAT scan 1/09 negative, Bone scan 1/09 negative

Robotic surgery 03/03/09 Catheter Removed 03/08/09
Post surgical pathology report. Lymph nodes negative, Seminal vesicles negative
Surgical margins positive, Capsular penetration extensive Gleason 4 + 3 = 7

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2460
   Posted 5/10/2009 9:42 PM (GMT -6)   
If you are not having problems with your stool then you probably don't need them any more. I only took laxative medication for few days after surgery.
Age: 67
PSA 9/05 1.15; 8/06 1.45; 12/07 2.41; 8/08 3.9; 11/08 3.5 free PSA 11%
Dx 12/30/08
2 cores out of 12 were positive Gleason (4+4) and (4+5)
Negative CT scan and bone scan done on 1/16
Robotic surgery performed 2/9/09
Surgeon: Dr. Randy Fagin, Austin TX.
Pathology report:
Prostate weighed 57 grams size:5.2 x 5.0 x 4.9 cm
Bilateral 10-20% involved
Gleason 4+4
both nerve bundles removed,
pT3a Nx Mx
Negative margins
seminal vesicles clean
Lymph nodes: not dissected
1st PSA test 4/7/09 result <0.1

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 5/11/2009 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Prunes became my friends in the beginning. Still eat 5 a day.

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

09/18/08 12 plug biopsy
09/29/08 PC diagnosis, 1 of 12 plugs, 5% cancer, Gleason 3+3 (6), left side plug w/cancer
12/17/08 da Vinci robotic radical prostatectomy, lab confirmed biopsy, 5%, PIN rest of prostrate, negative margins
12/29/08 catheter removed
03/24/09 1st PSA blood draw, < 0.1% "undetectable"

current status: 1 pad/day, dry overnight; however, total ED

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 260
   Posted 5/11/2009 8:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I took stool softener and prunes for about 2 weeks. I was afraid to push when performing a BM. I continued the prunes for another couple of months, probably because I liked them.

Age 69, First ever PSA 7.8 taken June 2008, Biopsy July 2008, 10 of 12 cores positive, Gleason 3+3=6
da Vinci surgery December 10, 2008, catheter removed December 29 2008
St. Lukes Hospital, Bethlehem, Pa.
Dr. Frank Tamarkin

Prostate weight 73.0 grams, Gleason 3+3=6, stage pT3a
Tumor locations: right anterior apex, right posterior apex to mid
left anterior mid to base, left posterior apex to mid
extensive perineural invasion in right anterior apex, right and left posterior apex to mid
seminal vesicles negative

First post PSA < .1 Jan 16 2009
Second post PSA < .1 Apr 17 2009

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 673
   Posted 5/13/2009 5:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm still taking stool softeners 2x daily. The anethesia and pain meds at hospital tend to plug me up. I've only taken a few percocets since back home and they did plug me a bit, too. I think I'm done with those so I think I'll be back to normal in a day or so. The same happened when I had hernia repair a few years ago. I only took softeners long enough to help with BM to keep from straining. 

Lower left groin hernia: mesh and large scar: surgery early 2006
Nov/Dec 07 and March 08 and now Dec 08: Severe perineal pain (between scrotum and rectum). Septra/Bactrim for 8 months (Nov 07-Jun 08) for diagnosed prostatitis.
PSA start of 2008: 5.3..... PSA June of 2008: 7.3
14 DRE all benign or nothing felt
TRUS Biopsy Nov 08: Got copy of pathology (see below). Prostate about 40 cm sq.
General Health: pretty good, 5' 10", 180 lbs, slim.
Bone scan Dec 08: Negative
Barium enema X-ray (March 09 due to several days of blood in stool)
MRI with endorectal coil (April 09 as part of a study)
3D advanced TRUS (April 09 as part of a study)
CT (April 09 as part of a study)
Biopsy Pathology: 5 of 8 cores positive, adenocarinoma in both lobes. 30%-65%. One core perineural invasion. 2 cores "foamy" and suspicious. All +ve cores, 3+3 GS 6.
Open RP surgery: May 5/09 Surgeon spoke to my wife and was very positive. Said both nerve bundles spared and not damaged. Bilateral lymph node dissection performed. Discharged 48 hours after surgery. Staples out, catheter out and pathology sheduled for May 21.
Physical State: Home office in basement. Up and down 10-20 times a day. Walking lots of circles around inside of house and back patio. Bit sore but coping very well so far.
Mental State: Pre-surgery anxiety gone. Now waiting for path report, cath removal and staples out. 

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