Travel expectations

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New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 6/25/2010 1:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

As many of you know, my dad had open surgery on June 10. He is recovering slowly but steadily since then. But he has a way to go. He has booked plane tickets to come see me in Boston on July 15, so a bit more than a month following surgery. Did any of us you travel within the weeks/months following open surgery? Is it realistic for my Dad to plan to come then? He planned the trip before, but wants to keep them.

The travel involves a 4-hour flight -- each way. Thanks everyone.

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4848
   Posted 6/25/2010 5:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I was told that as soon as my cath came out I could resume all normal activities.
If I could push my lawn mower around, your dad shouldn't have any issues sitting in a plane.
Age 55   - 5'11"   215lbs
Overall Heath Condition - Good
PSA - July 2007 & Jan 2008 -> 1.3
Biopsy - 03/04/08 -> Gleason 6 
06/25/08 - Da Vinci robotic laparoscopy
05/14/09  - 4th Quarter PSA -> less then .01
11/20/09 - 18 Month PSA -> less then .01
05/18/10 - 24 Month PSA -> less then .01
Surgeon - Keith A. Waguespack, M.D.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 6/25/2010 8:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I loaded the camper on the truck and drove 3.5 hours to Moab for a week of Jeeping on 6-7 rated trails (on a 1-10 scale) spending 5-8 hours per day on the trail 27 days after open surgery. I got tired sooner than normal but no other issues. My uro's only comment when I asked if I could go was "if I felt up to it" it was OK and "don't over do it".

Keep in mind that every journey is different, 4 hours of sitting may be uncomfortable, if he can get an aisle seat he can stretch his legs and have easier access to the restroom. Refundable tickets or ones with a small re-booking charge in case anything comes up may not be a bad idea.
Diagnosed 12-09 age 55
07-06 PSA 2.5
01-08 PSA 5.5 (PCP did not tell me of increase or schedule follow-up!!!!)
09-09 PSA 6.5 Sent for consult with Urologist
11-09 Consult, scheduled for biopsy, found out about PSA from '08 (yes I was pissed)
12-09 Biopsy, initial Gleason 9 (4+5) later reduced to 8 with tertiary 5, ain't much but I'll take it.
01-10 Bone Scan, "appears negative"
03-01-10 RRP in Durango CO by Dr Sejal Quale and Shandra Wilson, no naked eye evidence of spread, Vesicles and lymph nodes taken for microscopic exam.

03-16-10 Removal of cath' and pathology results of samples.
Multifocal carcinoma with areas of Gleason pattern 3, 4 and 5, Overall Gleason grade 4+4 with tertiary 5, Bilateral involving 21% of left lobe, 3% of right lobe, Invasion of left Seminal vesicle, Tumor focally present at left resection margin, 9 lymph nodes removed all negative, Tumor staging pT3b NO MX

04-23-10 PSA <0.04
05-03-10 1 week without pads
06-07-10 PSA <0.04

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 6/25/2010 8:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I spoke to my MD about travel post - DaVinci when I was considering that, He said no worries even as soon as three days after surgery.

However, different from what the other guys heard, I heard no lifting of more than 5-10 pounds for 6 weeks - so you lift your dad's bags, not the way, as he would likely usually insist.

The risk factor for premature exercise, leading to abdominal stress, is incurable lifetime incontinence (for both surgery and HIFU). That has duly impressed me, and should impress your dad.
Diagnosed 3/10 : Gleason 7 (3+4)
HIFU treatment 6/10

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 6/25/2010 8:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Will really depend on how your dad is doing at that point in time, hopefully he will be more like some of the posters above. Due to complications, and I had open surgery, I wouldn't have been able to do something like that for at least 3-4 months after my surgery.

The suggestion of an aisle seat was a good one, but it still a long time to sit in one position in a narrow seat.

Hopefully he will do fine, its important for each man to return to the things he likes and wants to do as soon as they are able, so regardless, it might jsut be good medicine in itself.

Good luck to him.

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 - 31 days, 5/24 put in Cath #17

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7269
   Posted 6/25/2010 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   

Travel should be fine. Go easy on the baggage (lifting, etc.)



63 years old . PSA-- 3/08--2.90; 8/09--4.01; 11/09--4.19 (Free PSA 24%),  after 45 days on cipro! DREs have always been normal. PCA-3 was about 75 (way above the 35 threshold). That led to:

Biopsy on 11/30/09. 5 out of 12 cores positive. Gleason 4+3. 2 cores were 3+3 (one 5% and the other 30%) on one side. On  other side:2 cores are 4+3 (5%)--1 core 3+4 (30%) no peri-neural invasion. prostate is 45 grams. Stage: T1C.  

Surgery with Dr. Menon at Ford Hospital, 1/26/10. He says all looked good. Spared nerves. Unfortunately: Pathology Report: G 4+3 (65%-35%). Cancer in 15% of gland. Lymph Nodes: Clear.  Perineural Invasion: yes. Seminal Vessical Involvement: No.  Extraprostatic Extension: yes.  Positive Margin: Yes-- focal-- 1 spot .5mm. Final Weight is 52.7 gms.  (Second opinion from Jon Epstein at Hopkins confirmed these results)

 Incontinence: joined that club-- definite leaks—1 pad/day. Night is dry, was  using 1 pad at night for security, but pretty much dispensed with that most nights. Update: no pads at night. No pads while at home, but still very uncomfortable. Use 1 pad for out-of-house activities. Suddenly got MUCH better on 3/10/10, almost overnight. Still some urgency but no pads about 90% of the time.  As of 3/12/10--completely continent! Uh...OH. As of about 3/16/10 problems with constant urgency although no pads needed--feels like an infection but none showing in urine.

Update: since late March all is well in that area. I would say 99.9% continent (a spurt here and there, maybe 5 spurts per week). As of 6/22/10, I would say I am 100% continent, but I do have (controllable) significant urgency.

First post-op PSA on 3/10/10--DRUM ROLL: 0.01 Next PSA in mid-June.

Second post-op PSA on 6/21/10--0.02--Not too bad!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 384
   Posted 6/25/2010 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
At six weeks post surgery I flew from Atlanta to NYC then boarded a cruise ship to Bermuda. While in Bermuda rode a moped for 1.5 days.
Was a little tired from the moped riding but did great over all. Of course a lot depends on what type of shape your dad is in also pre-surgery.

Good luck.

Age 55 / age at diagnosis 54, PSA 5.1
Robotic surgery 08/12/09 at Vanderbilt, Nashville TN. 
Final Path report:
20% of the prostate Involved
Tumor graded at T2C
Overall Gleason 3+4 (7)
Lymph Glands Clear, Positive Margin Noted in Right Apex
First post Surgery PSA - 0
Six month PSA - 0
Ten month PSA - 0

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7078
   Posted 6/25/2010 5:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Lifting / carrying bags would be my concern. At that point I was on serious restrictions, and would not have been able to manage any kind of bag.

Also, if he has incontinence issues, it could complicate things with the way they restrict people to their seats in the last parts of flights now. I would have been a soggy mess.

New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 6/25/2010 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, guys. Yeah, the bags might be an issue unless they pack very lightly and have my mom handle the bags. My Dad had open surgery (recommended by the surgeon who does both) so that also means a slower healing time.
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