feeling poorly after robotic surgery

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New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/16/2010 1:56 PM (GMT -6)   
my husband had robotic surgery to remove his prostate 12 days ago.  He was in the hospital for four days and had a lot of pain while in the hospital.  He had a urine leak into his JP drain initially but I was told that would heal.  He was sent home with the drain and two days later it was removed in the doctor's office.  about an hour or so after it was removed he suffered excrutiating burning pain at the site of the drain and it radiated up his left arm and down his left leg so I called 911 and he was taken to the ER.  Spent the whole day there with no explanation.  Had two more attacks in the ER and they did a CAT scan and said everything looked fine.  Came home and no attacks since but he is incredibly weak.  Saw the urologist four days ago and he wanted to leave the catheter in one more week.  At that appointment his BP was incredibly low for him.  He does take high BP medication.  We have been monitoring the BP and it has been okay until this morning and incredibly low again.  He just doesn't seem to be bouncing back from this.  He is a very active 69 years old.  The doctor said his prostate was very large and he also had an umbilical hernia repair at the same time.  We are both frustated.  He just wants to sleep all the time.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 5/16/2010 2:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Loves Dave,
Sorry he and you have to go thru that. Regardless of the Tx, it doesnt always go well and my surgery was a good example of that. Hopefully it will subside soon and I guess it is good that they have found no major problems. Let him sleep as that is one way to deal with it. Keep us posted and take care of yourself as well.
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed, 61 yo 2010
Robotic surgery 5/09 Atlanta, Ga
Catheter out after 10 days
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
 started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
T2C left lateral and left posterior margins involved
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4, 6 1/2 month psa.5 on 11/28/10
Starting IMRT on 1/18/10, Completed 39 tx at 70 gys on 3/12/10
6 week Post IMRT PSA .44 a drop from .5 but maybe more
Great family and friends

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 5/16/2010 2:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry his recovery has been less than normal. Here's hoping he will get a fast turn around in healing and life will become more manageable. Welcome to the forum, and stay with us as long as you need to.
James C. Age 63
Gonna Make Myself A Better Man www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6cX61oNsRQ&feature=channel
4/07: PSA 7.6, Recheck after 4 weeks Cipro-6.7
7/07 Biopsy: 3 of 16 PCa, 5% invloved, left lobe, GS3+3=6
9/07: Nerve Sparing open RRP, 110gms, Path Report- Stg. pT2c, 110 gms., margins clear
3 Years: PSA's .04 each test since surgery, ED continues: Bimix- .3ml PRN, Trimix- .15ml PRN

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7085
   Posted 5/16/2010 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome. I'm sorry you have to be here, and that things have not gone well.

I did not have those sorts of drain problems, but I did have to talk to my GP and verify/modify my BP meds several times over the course of getting ready for DaVinci and then the surgery, and still take my BP every day. I would strongly suggest keeping the family doctor in the conversation as well. I stay in touch with mine through their nursing service with updates on my IGRT.

I will say that having the catheter in makes us grouchy and eliminates a lot of the desire to walk. I had to really force myself, and the irritation of the catheter along with some urinary tract infections basically kept me from getting enough walking in. But you have to keep trying. Walking helps the healing in general, and I believe it was a big factor in getting my incontinence under some control (there is also a mental factor - worrying about what is going to happen when they take out the catheter).

Be sure his diet is kept up and that he is eating as he should - getting back to my usual foods was a big help.

If you have questions, please come back and ask.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1858
   Posted 5/16/2010 5:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Sometimes we gloss somewhat over how serious this surgery is. It is complex and draining and it is no wonder it knocks us around, even when it goes well. Add to that the complications he suffered with the drain and it is not surprising he feels shattered. Sleep is actually the best thing for him, so long as he spends some periods up and about. He will recover and slowly get back to his old self. It is good you are monitoring his low BP.........this would not help how he's feeling

4 of 10 cores positive for Adenocarcinoma-------bummer! 
Core 1 <5%, core 2----50%, core 3----60%, core 4----50% 
Biopsy Pathologist's comment: [/color]
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 
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 
PSA August '09 (2 year mark), <0.01 
PSA December '09 <0.01   PSA May '10  <0.01


Never underestimate old people ............ you don't get to be old by being stupid.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 5/16/2010 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there LovesDave and welcome to the site....What kind of numbers did your hubby have like Gleason score, PSA numbers, Nerves spared? margins clear, other asociated lymph nodes and ducts clear? Takes a little time but things will get better. Catheter issues? Penile or Pubic?

I'm 74 years old, enlarged prostate for many years (106 grams). I take benicar for slightly elevated BP and my BP dropped during my four hour surgery plus the next morning so the surgeon had me skip two doses. My surgery was at Henry Ford Vatikutti institute 2/10/10. The penile catheter came out the following day before I went home and the pubic catheter came out ten days later (more time was required for the bladder / urethra to heal since the prostate had been so large). When the pubic catheter was removed my bladder went into spasm...Really painful! They gave me a belladonna / opium suppository and it took about 15 minutes or more for the pain to go away. No pads night time around a month later and zero pads a couple of months out. First PSA five weeks out was undetectable with the next one coming up in June...
Almost forgot...Four hours upside down and full of gas I had a rough time getting my digestive tract and colon working right..

Hang in there and even though there isn't a huge scar to show for what he's been through it was major surgery. No lifting, pushing anything over 20 pounds for six weeks!

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 5/16/2010 6:21 PM (GMT -6)   
My best to you and your husband ,too. Sound like he has been through the wringer already. Things just don't always go by the book, I know this first hand. Hope he starts to get a break here and get back on a steady recovery path.

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, no problem post SRT
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, next one:  July
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 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4,  Caths #11 and #12  same time, 2/8-Cath #11 out - 21 days, 3/2- Cath #12 out - 41 days, 3/2- Corr Surgery #5, 3/6 Cath #13 out - 4 days, Cath #14- 27 days, Cath #15 - 26 days, Cath #16 - 4/23 put in

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 347
   Posted 5/16/2010 7:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry that you are seeking advice here but welcome. He did go through major surgery and we react and heal differently. You have to listen to your body it will tell what to do and not do. Hope he feels better soon.
age 45
psa 3.09
Biopsy results 12/9
Left side base 3+3=6 21% 2/2 cores positive
Left side mid  3+3=6 100% 2/2 cores positive
Left side apex 3+4=7 88% 2/2 cores positive
Right side - 0/6
CT & Bone scan negative
Davinci Feb. 5th 2010/ cath removal 2/16
Extent of tumor-Bilateral
Extraprostatic Extension-Absent
Seminal Vesicles-Negative for tumor
Surgical Margins-Rt apical margin focally positive
lymphovascular invasion-Suspicious in areas of capsular involvement
Regional lymph nodes-One node negative
Stage-T2c NO Mx
Incontinence-yes/ Down to 1 pad at 6 weeks out
11 weeks pad free
PSA 3/29/10 <0.01

Worried Guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3743
   Posted 5/16/2010 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Loves Dave.
It's been 12 days; he has a catheter sticking out of him that probably drives him crazy; he's tired and hurting. I'd want to sleep too.
about 4 days after my surgery for some strange reason, I decided I had to get moving and went for a long, hard walk with arm weights. After about 5 minutes my catheter bag looked like it was filled with vegetable soup. I quickly learned that you should rest while you can. Let things heal. Short easy walks area good thing. And keep drinking water.
It will get better.
Married 34 years, DX Age 56. First routine PSA test on April 8, 09: 17.8. Start 2 weeks of Cipro to rule out protatitis. May '09 PSA: 22.6, 3 weeks later: PSA: 23.2.
Biopsy 6/10/09: 7/12 scores positive, 20%-70%, Gleason 6=3+3. Bone and C/T scans neg.
RP DaVinci -7/21/2009 @ Univ of Roch Medical Center
Left nerve gone, right partial spared.
Catheter removed - 7/31/2009 Pathology report received:
Gleason 3+4=7, Tumor size: 2.5 x 1.8 cm, location: both lobes and apex.
Extraprostatic extension present; Perineural invasion: present, extensive.
No Malignancy in Seminal Vesicle, vasa deferentia, lymph nodes 0/13
Prostate mass 56 grams. Pathologic Stage: pT3aN0MX
Post Surgery Status:
Potency - 12/11 5 months, Still no activity, zip. Using pump daily since 11/11. No effect with 20 mg of Cialis or 100 mg of Viagra. Shots next See Uro 1/22/10 Trimix #1. Try 0.08- 25%, 0.12-25%, 2/26/10 try 0.16 First Success! 90%.
Incontinence - 8/20 4 full pads per day
.. 9/7 3-4 full pads per day. Try controlling fluids.
12/11/09 5 months: 3 pads per day, 400-450ml/day
02/26/10 7 months: 3 pads but leak is now 320 ml (5 day avg.)
03/22/10 8 months: 3 pads per day, 280 ml/day (5 day avg.) PT says all muscles are tight and working properly. There must be another issue. Uro mtg 4/23. Did I waste 9 months? Mtg 5/22.
Post Surgery PSA - 9/3 6 weeks - 0.05; 10/13 3 months - 0.04, 1/14 6 months - 0.05, 4/14 9 months - 0.04 and <0.01 with ECLIA.

Cajun Jeff
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4119
   Posted 5/16/2010 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hope things turn to the up swing real soon. We all heal at different rates. Some have lingering side effects much longer than others. You may want to call the Dr. office. Do keep us informed.

Cajun Jeff
9/08 PSA 5.4 referred to Urologist
9/08 Biopsy: GS 3+4=7 1 positive core in 12 1 pre cancer core
10/08 Nerve-Sparing open radical
Surgery Path Report Downgrade 3+3=6 GS Stage pT2c margins clear

3 month: PSA <0.1
6 month: PSA <0.1
10 month:PSA <0.1
1 year: PSA <0.1
16 month:PSA <0.1

ED - Started Cialis at 3 months, tried all 3, 6 months added pump, 9 months Tried MUSE (YUCK) Bad experience.
1 year mark Found new Urologist visit was at 14th month post surgery
Started Injections, Caverject! (Success)
17 month: ED making improvements : Oral Meds gets me 85%

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 5/16/2010 10:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi LovesDave,

I'm hoping like Worried Guy - Jeff, that your hubby will be feeling much better once the catheter is out and he's on the way to more normalcy.

I'm sorry it has been rocky so far.

My robotic surgery was a snap, but everyone's body is different yeah

Wishing you and hubby the very best!

Keep posting and we'll try to be of help.

Surgery: Da Vinci; July 31, 2007; 54 on surgery day;
Pathology: PSA: 4.3; Gleason: 3+3=6; T2a; Confined to Prostate;
Post RP PSAs: 09/'07 <0.04; 12/'07 <0.04; 03/'08 <0.04;
06/'08 <0.04; 12/'08 <0.04; 06/'09 =0.06; 09/'09 <0.04; 12/'09 =0.05;
Latest PSA 3/'10 <0.04

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2218
   Posted 5/17/2010 2:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Loves Dave

I hope things are improving as I write.

The fact that the robot just leaves you with small scars on the outside can almost trick you into forgetting that your insides have been messed around a great deal. It has been major surgery and the body has to use a lot of energy and time to recover.

I agree with the advise about: taking things slowly, drinking plenty, eating healthily and walking (short regular walks) and not too much sitting still.

Also as far as sleep goes I adjusted my mind to thinking about how much sleep I was getting per 24 hours rather than how much I was getting in one go at night. An afternoon nap was thus a great help. Sleeping with the catheter in is not easy. And I'm sure things will get better faster once the catheter is out.

Best wishes
Age at Dx 48 No Family history of Prostate Cancer
Married 25 years, and I cannot thank my wife enough for her support.
April 2009: PSA 8.6 DRE: negative. Tumour in 2 out of 12 cores. Gleason 3+3.
RALP (nerve-sparing) at AVL-NKI Hospital Amsterdam on 29th July 2009. Stay 1 night.
Partial erections on while catheter still in. Catheter out on 6th Aug 2009.
Dry at night after catheter came out
Post-op Gleason 3+4. Tumour mainly in left near neck of bladder.
Left Seminal Vesicle invaded, (=T3b!)
no perineraul invasion, no vascular invasion. clear margins,
Erection 100% on 15th Aug 2009, but lots of leaking
Stopped wearing pads on 21st Sept 2009
Pre-op style intercourse on 24th Oct 2009 !! No use of tablets, jabs, VED etc.
Nov 17th 2009 PSA = 0.1
Mar 17th 2010 PSA = 0.4!!! referred to radiation therapist
April 13th 2010 CT scan.
April 28th 2010 Started Radiation Therapy (66Gy - 33 sessions)

DS Can
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 195
   Posted 5/17/2010 10:34 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome LovesDave,

If your husband was active before surgery I would expect it to be just a matter of time before he is up and active again.  My favorite spot for the first while was lying in the recliner with relaxation/inspirational music playing.  

Having a catheter can be nasty.  Has UTI been ruled out?

Keep healing and feel better soon,



PSA 01/07: 1.2,  01/08: 1.9,  01/09: 2.5
BIOPSY 02/24/09  PCa DX, age 52
Right: 3+3=6, 3/6 cores 10% involved,PNI-Y
Left:  3+3=6, 1/7 cores <5% involved,PNI-N
LARP 04/09/09 nerve sparing. Final pathology:
GS 3+4=7, Margins uninvolved, 2 lymph nodes negative
Catheter out 04/17,1st no-pad day 05/03 
PSA: 04/08/10 <0.1

New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/18/2010 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I want to explore the UTI when we go in to see the doctor tomorrow and have the catheter removed. They did a urine test in the ER a week ago when we went in for the extreme burning in the drain area so I assume they checked for that but it could have developed since then. He is not improving at all. The low blood pressure all of a sudden was concerning also but his primary doctor finally agreed to take him off one of two high BP meds and see if it comes up. He has lost 15 pounds since surgery and had lost 20 before surgery (on purpose) so perhaps that has affected his BP. He is very uncomfortable sitting and complains that is right butt area feels bruised. His doctor did say his prostate was very large when he romoved it robotically. The pathology report was good though, very tiny tumor with nothing surrounding it. He is still having dizziness and nausea issues as well as extreme low energy. He is also borderline diabetic, controlled with diet only. I would feel reassured knowing there were others that had this kind of recovery but unfortunatley everyone we know who has gone through it has bounced back after about the first week and one of those had the open surgery.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 5/18/2010 1:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Well it took me over 6 months and I was in good shape with no real medical problems other than PCa. Having lost all that weight and being a borderline diabetic has likely played a part in his slugishness. But by all means have his Dr take a very thourough look at him and hope that he begins to turn the corner soon. As someone mentioned earlier , we all heal at different rates and sometimes there are complications.
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed, 61 yo 2010
Robotic surgery 5/09 Atlanta, Ga
Catheter out after 10 days
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
 started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
T2C left lateral and left posterior margins involved
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4, 6 1/2 month psa.5 on 11/28/10
Starting IMRT on 1/18/10, Completed 39 tx at 70 gys on 3/12/10
6 week Post IMRT PSA .44 a drop from .5 but maybe more
Great family and friends

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