Mel, I don't think anyone would say they are a "waste of time". From studying different people's doctors remark, shows quite a variance of opinon on the subject.
Some men don't need them. Others do them pre-surgery and during recovery. It seems to help some, and others not.
My own medical staff doesnt put much worth on them, more like, if you want to do them, do them. I think some men go a little nuts on doing them and some doctors will plainly say if you do them too much, you are tiring out the area that needs the rest and recovery.
Guess it goes back to some people feel like they have to do something active in the their cancer, and I don't think there is any harm in that, just like switching to a heart healthy diet, quitting smoking, etc.
Until you are actually on the recovery side of your exact surgery, you really won't know how you wll feel in advance. So be prepared to adjust to a new reality when you are safely on the other side.
What any good nurse or doctor will tell you in general: Listen to your body. It will let you know what it needs, i.e. meds, rest, not overdoing it. Some of the best advice I took, was to use stool softeners right from the get go, walk as much as you are comfortable, rest, take pain meds as needed (no prize for being Mr. Macho and avoiding meds). If you need them, take them.
David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence: 1 Month ED: Non issue at any point post surgery
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA:
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped 9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 in place