Pre Op & clothing suggestions after surgery

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 9/30/2010 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
My radiacal prostatectomy surgery is now booked for 9AM on Nov. 3rd. Pre op is on Oct 25th.
I have never spent a night in a hospital and have some questions.
What goes on at the Pre-Op?
Also what clothing would be recommended post surgery - not sure what will work best when I have the catheter in.
Any advise would be appreciated.
Jan/09: PSA 3.48 / Free PSA 10%
Feb/09 - Biopsy - cancer diagnosed - age 55
PSA at time of Biopsy - 3.48
DRE: Nornal
Trus volume: 34cc
3 out of 10 cores positive

Gleeson 3+3
On active surveillance for 18 months then had first follow up biopsy
Sept 1/10 - biopsy - 3 cores positive 2 @ G6 7 1 @ G7
Surgery booked for Nov 3/10

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 9/30/2010 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   
From my recollection,
I wished I had brought briefs instead of boxers. The catheter is more comfortable if you have briefs kinda holding things steady. Also bring a pair of sweats.

Pre-op is a battery of tests to make sure you are fit for surgery. There will be x-rays, blood tests, and EKG, and some do CT scan. Not really a big deal. I did mine two days before surgery and was told to not have solid food 12 hours before arriving for the procedure...Also had to use an enema.

Advanced Prostate Cancer at age 44 (I am 48 now)
pT3b,N0,Mx (original PSA was 19.8) EPE, PM, SVI. Gleason 4+3=7

RALP ~ 2/17/2007 at the City of Hope near Los Angeles.
Adjuvant Radiation Therapy ~ IMRT Completed 8/07
Adjuvant Hormone Therapy ~ 28 months on Casodex and Lupron.

"I beat up this disease and took its lunch money! I am in remission."
I am currently not being treated, but I do have regular oncology visits.
I am the president of an UsTOO chapter in Las Vegas

Blog :

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7269
   Posted 9/30/2010 3:02 PM (GMT -6)   
This is a very formal operation, so I would recommend a suit and tie.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7269
   Posted 9/30/2010 3:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Actually, I do have a suggestion.
Again, as was stated, loose fitting clothes (eg: sweats) are good. I also took a cane and that was VERY helpful (to go from sitting to standing mostly).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 966
   Posted 9/30/2010 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Agree with Tony on the briefs. I also got those pants with the zipper on the leg to zip up and down to empty the cath bag. Sweats will work okay, but maybe too hot to wear all day long.

Also something loose fitting around the wasteline for comfort. The midline will be a little tender for a day or so.

For the pre-op...nothing special.
You are beating back cancer, so hold your head up with dignity


Signature details in Sticky Post above - page 2

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 9/30/2010 3:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Being a recent open RP graduate, I'd suggest loose sweats/jammer pants.

As far as underwear suggestions, I've been commando since my discharge 9/25 ... with no complaints. Cath is scheduled to come out tomorrow.

Age: 49 (09/61)

PSAs: 12/08 - 1.8, 12/09 - 2.5, 6/10 - 3.9, 8/10 - 5.7

Biopsy 8/10: 14 samples, 5 positive, Gleason: 3 + 3

open RP 9/23/2010

Post Op Path: Organ contained, Gleason 3+3, nerve bundles spared, negative margin.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 9/30/2010 4:09 PM (GMT -6)   
X2 on commando if you are comfortable that way, I tried boxers and briefs and neither worked for me for the 13 days my cath' was in. Loose pants/sweats and all was good.

For me I slept in a recliner the first few days, much more comfortable than the bed, after 4-5 days when I could sit up/turn over without feeling like I was tearing something inside I moved to the bed and hung my big bag off of a hook fashioned from a wire coat hanger.
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 Dr 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....... 06-07-10 PSA <0.04..... 08-03-10 <0.04
05-03-10 1 week without pads
06-28-10 ;-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7269
   Posted 9/30/2010 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Also, I wore something called Boxer/Briefs. Check them out in stores. They are sort of in-between.
I might add that normally (pre-PC and now) I prefer boxers and I don't like briefs but I do like the boxer briefs

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 416
   Posted 9/30/2010 6:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Pre-op will be various medical folk checking on you.. temp, BP, etc.. then the anesthesiologist will explain everything.. have you sigh disclaimer in case you chip a tooth or something. They will rsally just make you feel comfortable until the probably start you with an IV.. By the time they tell you they are putting you under, it will be over.

When you awake, and you will, you'll be in a little bit of a fog. But it will be over. Then you recouperate for a day or two.. they have you walk to get the blood circulating.. doc will come in and tell you things went well. You'll go home with the catheter.... and that will be your closest friend for the next week+.

Then you'll go back to dr, get the cath out, and hopefully be told that pathology came back and is as good as we hope for.

Dont let the process itself scare you. The people will be nice, they'll understand. You just worry about getting better!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 9/30/2010 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to all for the responses. I hope it happens like BobCape stated and is over quick. I have to admit to being anxious.
Jan/09: PSA 3.48 / Free PSA 10%
Feb/09 - Biopsy - cancer diagnosed - age 55
PSA at time of Biopsy - 3.48
DRE: Nornal
Trus volume: 34cc
3 out of 10 cores positive

Gleeson 3+3
On active surveillance for 18 months then had first follow up biopsy
Sept 1/10 - biopsy - 3 cores positive 2 @ G6 (20% & 50%) & 1 @ G7 (70%)
Surgery booked for Nov 3/10

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 9/30/2010 8:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I went with some cheap flanel PJ's from JC Penny's. Had a fly to run the cath. out and were only seven bucks, so did"nt mind cutting holes in them, very comfortable.  good luck Tim
58 yrs.
PSA 6.94 12/10
Bio. 8 of 12 cores pos. 2/1
Gleason 3+4=7
Da Vinci 4/14
Tumor volume 9%
Extraprostatic extension- within margins
Margins clear
T2c NO Mx
PSA. 6wks. surgery .01
PSA. 4 1/2 months .01

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 654
   Posted 9/30/2010 8:59 PM (GMT -6)   
If you have a long drive home, say 2 hours or so. Beware the leg bag. They will have you on an IV until just before you actually leave. This means you will have lots of fluids in your system and it will start comming out with gusto. I was about halfway home when i thought to take a look at the leg bag they put on me. Wow, it was ready to bust or at least looked that way. So either check it in 30 minute intervals or use the big " bed bag". If you have a leg bag ask them to put it down on your calf, roadside emptying is a lot easier on your calf.
Ditto on loose clothes and going comando.
Good luck with your operation.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7078
   Posted 9/30/2010 10:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Read English Alf's "list" at the top of the forum. It has a consolidation of all of our suggestions.
I got a pair of cheap Old Navy fleece pants, and cut the seam at the knee long enough to push the folded-up "big/night" bag through.
I never used the leg bag. My nurses convinced me it was safer to not disconnect/reconnect bags for the 7 days I would have the cath.
Take as little as possible to the hospital -
 - leave wallet & credit cards, wedding ring, etc. at home. Bring your ID, insurance card, and whatever they need for deductible/co-pay. Have whoever accompanies you be responsible for house keys
- I used an adjustable depends-type pant as underwear - I had really bad bladder spasms, so leaked all over the place from the start.
- a doughnut, 'roids cushion will help for the ride home.
- for in hospital, I took a light bathrobe, my cell phone, and a book.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7078
   Posted 9/30/2010 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
- any meds you are supposed to be taking in the prescription bottle (depends on the hosp - they let me take mine instead of charging a lot extra to pull out one tablet).
- Toothbrush/toothpaste

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 10/1/2010 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
We took 2 things from hospital after discharge that we were very happy to have on the hour drive home. He wore the blue scrub pants (commando underneath) the hospital provides many patients and we took the plastic urinal. We were trained in the transfer of the bigger (we called it the "pull toy bag" since when he started his walks in the back yard, the bag trailed along like a child's pull toy) bag to the leg bag just before packing up, and like knotreel said, it fills up very quickly. We were lucky to have the plastic urinal tucked into the side pocket of our vehicle and it was very easy to drain it on the way home. The only other time we used the leg bag was for the trip to remove the cath 8 days later, and again, the plastic urinal came in very handy.

Anything the hospital uses on you while there, and you can take with you (bacitracin, unopened packages of sterile gauze etc.) take. And speaking of the bacitracin, I was religious about using it 3 times per day at the point where the cath protrudes from the penile tip. He never had infection, or redness and only a little blood after straining a bit for a bm. Urinating after cath was removed was still painful internally, but it subsides over time.

There was no way he felt like reading, and he watched tv very little. Huge fatigue.

Good luck and keep posting...all here wish you the best.
Husband 60yrs., no symptms: PSA 10/04 2.73, 12/06 3.64, 5/09 3.9, 10/09 4.6, 1/10 5.0w/ free PSA 24
6 core biop 4/1/10 path rept: rt mid: adnocarc. G=3+3, 5% of core; R apx v. susp. minute ca, R base bnign w/ mod. atrophy, L side atrphy only; 2nd opnion JH confrmd
MRI - 15mm nodule
BiLatRP surg 7/6/10, path: T2c, nodes, sem.ves, extra caps. neg., adenoc both sides G=3+3 cntinent, Viagr-8/27 ED

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 2680
   Posted 10/1/2010 10:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not sure what you're defining as "pre-op."  My testing was done on various days a couple of weeks prior to surgery.  Bone scan and CT scan one day, nuclear stress test another day, cardiologist another day, family doctor another day, and so forth.  Then I had a pre-op appointment with the uro at which he answered any final questions I had.  Slacks and shirt were fine for all those tests.  As for suggested clothing after surgery, I was fortunate to be discharged on a warm day and wore loose fitting athletic type shorts with the hip catheter bag.  I would even wear the same thing when out for walks with my wife, although the bag drew some strange looks.  My R. N. wife had me well prepared.

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2217
   Posted 10/1/2010 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Have a look at the sticky thread

It's got my name on it, but the tips come from a whole bunch of us.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 10/1/2010 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Something interesting to read is a good idea. Sitting up is good for you and reading is an excuse to do it.

The weirdest thing was the night after surgery they had cuffs on my calves which regularly inflated and deflated (this is to prevent blood clots.) It kept waking me up until I convinced myself that it was my cat sleeping draped across my legs.
Age at diagnosis 66, PSA 5.5
Biopsy 12/08 12 cores, 8 positive
Gleason 3+4=7
CAT scan, Bone scan 1/09 both negative.

Robotic surgery 03/03/09 Catheter Out 03/08/09
Pathology: Lymph nodes & Seminal vesicles negative
Margins positive, Capsular penetration extensive Gleason 4+3=7
6 weeks: 1 pad/day, 1 pad/night -- mostly dry at night.
10 weeks: no pad at night -- slight leakage day/1 pad.
3 mo. PSA 0.0 - now light pads
6 mo. PSA 0.00 -- 1 light pad/day
9 mo. PSA 0.00 -- 1 light pad/day ED remains
12 mo. PSA 0.00 -- still one light pad and ED
16 mo PSA 0.00 -- light pad just for security, ED still an issue

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 10/1/2010 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with the loose PJ's and commando worked great for me as far as the catheter,when I was released from the hospital I still had my drain tube and bulb in place and had to get a safety pin to pin it to my shirt,because it is impossible to pull your PJ's down if it is pinned to your PJ's. I think everyone else has pretty much covered the pre-op, I can't stress enough about the kegel exercises before surgery. Best of Luck to You!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 487
   Posted 10/1/2010 9:07 PM (GMT -6)   
My wife had found some warm up style pants that button up along the legs. Those were handy. I disagree with whoever said that sitting up is good. After the surgery, your rectum will feel like it's been used as a punching bag, and sitting on it is very uncomfortable. For me, this discomfort actually began right after the biopsy, and continued until a month after surgery.

Part of that discomfort immediately post surgery is that catheter tube. It seems like you're sitting right on that thing,....since you are.

I had several pair of shorts with an elastic waistband. (someone musta found a sale on'em) Anyway, in the mornings when I went for my walk, I put on my tighty whity's, slipped the shorts on with the catheter tube hanging out the right leg. Then I stuck my hand down through the waist, and through the leg opening, grabbed the catheter bag, and pulled it up and hooked it on the waistband.

The catheter tubeing was just long enough that a loop hung out, which I monitored closely. When the loop filled up, I would stop along the road, lower the bag allowing the tubing to flow into the bag, and then empty the bag beside the road. (we're in the country) I rarely had to do this however.

Remember that I had my surgery July 21, so I was walking late July, early August. I think I sweated so much when walking that my kidneys simply didn't have much output. I walked anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 miles each morning, and then made sure I walked inside the house a fair amount. We have an upstairs bonus room, so I went up and down the stairs a few jillion times too. This was handy after it got so hot outside that I simply didn't feel comfortable out in that level of heat. 102F with heat index of 117 most days.
Age 57 at Diagnosis
May, 09 PSA 2.26
June, 10 PSA 3.07 Free PSA 18%
Met with Uro, DRE +
June, 10 Biopsy, 7 of 12 cores, up to 60%, 4+5=9
July 21, 2010 - RRP
Nodes negative
Vesicles negative
tumor contained in capsule, still 4+5=9
perineural invasion extensive
Aug 5, 10 catheter out
Sept 3, 10 PSA - 0.00 (great big whew)
As of 9/3/2010, I'm 99% continent - only occasional stress incontinence !

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 10/1/2010 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Optimist,

I had my Robotic surgery on November 3rd 2009. I wish you all the luck that I have had. I, like you, had never spent time as an adult patient in the hospital. Cant say it was any fun, but it was much easier than I would have thought possible. I never took a pain shot or a pain pill. Did I have some pain…yes but, it was so much less than I had been told it just didn’t make since to drowse myself up. All I wanted to do was to get home. I was back to work in 3 weeks (office job, my younger brother had the same surgery but he works construction and he had to recover the full 6 weeks before the job would allow him back) Both my brother and I have had nearly perfect recovery. My suggestions is no different; Drink lots of water, walk, drink lots of water, walk. I don’t think it is possible to drink too much or walk too much. I walked miles. On day 10 I took my foley catheter out at 6 am and started walking 2 miles in the morning and 2 miles in the evening. I have these observations about post-operative care. I had 2 nice pair of sweats that I cut a perpendicular slit in the leg that allowed me to stick the large bag through. (I never used anything but the large bags, I changed from the original large bag to another large bag on day 5.) I made a belt that allowed me to hook everything on while walking. I also found the addition of hooks in the shower using locking suction cup style hooks to be extremely advantageous. Oh, lots of TLC from the wife was very therapeutic for BOTH of us. Best of luck!
Age 51 PSA 6.8
Bxy 10 of 12 Cores positive for Gleason 6. up to 75%
Robotic surg 11-03-09
Post op path. 20% neoplasm;4+3=7 Gleason
All nodes (14) and other related tissue negative for cancer
Post op PSA x 3, all <0.01

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/2/2010 4:03 AM (GMT -6)   
From my experience,  I have found that a large or x-large pair of sleep pants work the best.  I bought a cheap pair at Wal-Mart and was very comfy the 16 days my cath. was in.  You can also wear a large pair of shorts.  Best of luck and keep us posted.
Age 49 years old with no family history of PCa. but had testicular cancer in 1985.

PSA on 3-8-2010 was a 5.6
PSA re-take on 3-17-2010 was a 4.4
Biopsy collected on 4-17-2010 showed 2 of 12 cores malignant with Gleason scores of 3+3 Stage T1C.
RALP surgery 7-21-2010 at Hopkins.
Pathology report revealed that the cancer was organ confined, all margins negative and a Gleason score of 6.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 1406
   Posted 10/2/2010 12:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Optimist, there is very good advice here!  Like 142, my husband never used the leg bag.  He was sent home with a Depends (adjustable size) and wore basketball shorts.  It was a great idea to purchase that 12 quart oval bucket because that is what Ron used for the bag when he took his walks.  He spent most of the day in knee length PJs.  It helps if they are a size larger.
He also took the bucket when he had his cath taken out.  At that point, who cares whether it looks funny or not? :-)  
Right now, he is down to one, sometimes two Depends a day as he still has episodes of leakage.  Like NEIrish's husband,  fatigue was the big issue.
If you have time, you might want to visit the folks on the OCTOBER SURGERIES thread.  We wish you the best with your surgery and recovery!
Husband Ron, age 63
4/1/10 PSA 5.5 Prostate size = 50 cc.
Biopsy on 4/20/10 12 samples... Adenocarcinoma: 3 positive on right side, one core left base (5% ` 0.5 mm) - two cores of left lateral mid
(20% ~ 2mm, 10%, 10% ~ 1mm) - No Perineural Invasion
Gleason 6 (3+3)
Bone Scan/CT Negative (2 lesions on liver)
8/18/10 - Da Vinci Prostatectomy
Post Op: Gleason 7 (3+4)
Negative surgical margins and lymph nodes
Both nerve bundles spared
Catheter - 13 days

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 158
   Posted 10/3/2010 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
hello there , just my input here ,the more info  the better. loose sweats while the cath is in , and after that ,it was definatly briefs , a side note, i experimented alot , and found while on my journey to dryness ..i used my wifes pads instead of adult diapers,,,HUGE DIFFERNCE,you will be just fine , its a learning experience, thats for sure, 2 yrs later im happy to be a part of the zero club and have full continence,even with stress, and no pills needed for sexual performance,
Diagnosed November 2007   (43 years old )
PSA 3.9 / Gleason 6 / TC1 6 cores 1 shows 25%
Sugery scheduled 5/29/08 - City of Hope - Dr. Mark Kawachi
 "First show of the day"
 and now for the new ive been waiting for
 FINAL PATH REPORT:gleason upgraded to 3+4 T2c bilateral disease,tumor involvment 5%
extra prostatic extention:absent
seminal vesical invasion :absent
pathological staging:pTNM pT2 ORGAN CONFINED
margins free of carcinoma
usable erections ;6-6-08 with little blue pill
continence; 1 pad a day, dry at night
continence a non issue at 10weeks
 1 year p.s.a. undetectable
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