These have been my experiences:
1. My prostate was removed in its entirety when I underwent surgery via the da Vinci robotic method.
2. I think there were 5 holes and though I don't recall with certainty, my recollection (I was sleepiing at the time) the holes were cut by the surgeon(s).
3. Post-op, no two guys experience the same leakage problems - from what I read here. Post-catheter, I used pads for men during the daytime and leak-proof briefs overnight, then as the leaking subsided I learned that various strength pads designed for women worked better for me. My leakage was very heavy at first - 10 to 12 heavy duty mens pads daily - then subsided to one think pad for women.
4. Driving with a catheter is uncomfortable and illadvised, and that's what my surgeon told me. Once the catheter is out I think you have to listen to your body and assess your reaction time for safety purposes (particularly applying pressure in the braking process). Sitting gets easier as the weeks progress. A several hours drive would probably have taken me a month to prepare for.
5. I returned to work 3-weeks post-op. I sit at a desk about
8 hours daily, am up and down walking, walked up and down stairways, rode the public transit system, etc. I do not do lifting or otherwise "physical" work.
I hope some of this helps.
Age: 60 (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 (1 light (woman's style) pad per day)
ED: Combination of Cialis and MUSE (alprostadil) once 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; 4/09: 0.0; 9/09: 0.0; 3/10: 0.0