Da Vinci Prostatectomy Recovery Time

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/29/2011 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   

My name is Nor, and I was recently diagnosed with early stage prostate CA re:
1 out of 12 cores positive
Positive core = less than 10%
Gleason = 6
Cancer contained in one lobe only
Stage = T1c N0 M0
My surgeon prefers Da Vinci robot

Question: How long is number of weeks recovery? What's average length of time home from work barring complications?

Any help would be appreciated.



Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 1/29/2011 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nor,

With a gleason 6 and 1 core less than 10% you have lots of options. Before commiting to anything you should study up on pc and the different treatments. Now, that said, the time varies-I can only tell you my husband's case. He was 56 at the time of surgery and in great health-other than pc, of course. He was off work 2 weeks and went back full time, but he has an office job and no complications from the surgery.

Husband diagnosed 3/10
Age 56, PSA 4.7, free 7.6%

Biopsy 5 of 10 cores positve-all right side-25% to 57%
Gleason 6
DaVinci surgery with Dr. Vip Patel scheduled 8/9/10

Post Op: Gleason 3+4=7
Negative surgical margins and lymph nodes
No seminal vesicle and angiolymphaic invasion
perineural invasion present
Both nerve bundles spared
No ED or incontinence
6 wk. PSA .01

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3149
   Posted 1/29/2011 7:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Well it is apparently faster healings than open RP....exhibit 'A': I met the guy at Dr. Menon's office at Henry Ford Hosp., the first LRRP patient in the USA, age 42 and in great shape, I was there for consultation to see about possible LRRP (denied-stats were too high), anyway the guy said he was playing golf 2 days later, probably with catheter on, but playing...his words and it was written in a news article I think. He was back to see Dr. Menon for some issues with the bladder neck, likely sewing job issues? (not really uncommon to happen in some)

Now this is NOT the norm but likely 2-3 weeks and you can be at work, others can correct me....this is from my ADT s.w.a.g. memory at the moment.
Dx-2002 total urinary blockage, bPsa 46.6 12/12 biopsies all loaded 75-95% vol.; Gleasons scores 7,8,9's (2-sets), gland size 35, ct and bone scans look clear- ADT3 5 months prior to radiations neutron/photon 2-machines, cont'd. ADT3, quit after 2 yrs. switched to DES 1-mg, off 1+ yr., controlled well, resumed, used intermittently, resumed useage

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 144
   Posted 1/29/2011 7:09 PM (GMT -6)   
As a comparison
I had open RP, no complications
Was in hospital for 48 hours
Off pain meds completely after 4-5 days - one pill each day the last 2 days
Was back at work on the 12th day after surgery, full time office work
No leaking period after cath removed - during regular daily activities.
Started running 3 weeks post, a little leakage will running

I was 48 and in good shape at surgery time

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/29/2011 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone. It's good information to store as I consult to set a surgery date.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 1/29/2011 8:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been posting here for 4 and 1/2 years.  I am 4 years past DaVinci surgery.  Whenever I see anyone with your diagnosis I first suggest that you STOP and do nothing for at least several months. (I waited six months with a gleason 8 diagnosis)
The next thing I suggest is that you do watchful waiting or do brachytherapy instead of surgery.  I have complete erectile failure and if I could have had brachytherapy I would done that instead.
PSA July 2006 4.7 , Nodule found
biopsy 10/06 very agressive gleason4+4=8 identified
DaVinci surgery, January 2007
Post Ob confirms, gleason 4+4=8 with no extension or invasion
no long term continence problems
post surgery PSA continues to be undetectable at 4 years
ED problems continue, using bimix
born 1941

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1267
   Posted 1/29/2011 9:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nor, sorry to hear about the cancer. Not the news any of us want to hear.

First thing I think you should do is get your slides reread by a different pathologist and someone who has lots of experience with prostate tissue. Your reader may be the best in the world, but you still want a second set of eyes. Then, you go with the worst case scenario as the basis for your treatment decision. That decision, but it watchful waiting, surgery, radiation, HIFU, whatever, will depend on a number of factors, your age and general health being key.

Certainly from what information you've given us this is not a panic situation.

This site tends to attract, perhaps almost by definition, those who are interested in their disease and, like myself, want to know exactly what the situation is, what the options are, and then make informed decisions. It may well be a moot issue whether or not the informed few really fare any better than those who simply accept their doctor's advice and go with it. But, I like to think my research and understanding of my PCa will, long term, make a difference to my life span and its quality. Certainly I didn't do exactly as my doctor suggested, but close enough that he wasn't too fussed.

If you're one who wants to know, and your presence here suggests you are, then you're at the start of an interesting journey and if a second pathology report confirms the first, you've got lots of time to become educated.

Sheldon AKA Sleepless
Age 67 in Apil '09 at news of 4 of 12 cores positive T2B and Gleason 3 + 3 and 5% to 25% PSA 1.5
Re-read of slides in June said Gleason 3 + 4 same four cores 5% to 15%
June 29 daVinci prostatectomy, Dr. Eric Estey, at Royal Alexandra Hospital Edmonton one night stay
From "knock out" to wake up in recovery less than two hours.  Actual surgery 70 minutes
Flew home to Winnipeg on July 3 after 5 nights in Ramada Inn  ---  perfect recovery spot!
Catheter out July 9
Final pathology is 3 + 4 Gleason 7, clear margins, clear nodes, T2C, sugeron says report is "excellent"
Oct 1st 09 -- dry at night, during day some stress issues.
Oct 31st padless 24/7 
First post op PSA Sept 09  less than 0.02
PSA on Oct 23, 2009 less than 0.02
PSA on Jan 8, 2010  less than 0.02
PSA on April 9, 2010 less than 0.02 
PSA on July 9, 2010 (one year) less than 0.02

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 264
   Posted 1/29/2011 9:42 PM (GMT -6)   

Sorry about the diagnosis.

Do you have an office job or a job with lots of physical labor?

With an office job with no lifting (assuming an excellent recovery) two weeks should be plenty of time to take off work. Most likely your Uro won't want you to drive for 10 days to 2 weeks anyways (my Uro told me not to drive for 10 days). My situation is different than most-I do computer work at home, so I was back to working full time in a week, but if I needed to, I could take a break if needed.

There was no way even at 4 weeks that I could have done a job with a lot of physical labor for 8 hrs a day, like a bricklayer or UPS driver. I still could feel it in my abdomen even at 4-6 weeks when I would lift heavier stuff above my head. The combination of the weight and stretching my abdominal muscles still was noticeable even after 6 weeks. For me, it would have been about 8 weeks before I could have done a job 8 hrs a day with a lot of lifting.

Good luck with whatever treatment you choose.

Here are some of my stats:
Father diagnosed with PC at age 72 - wasn't contained to prostate when found in 1992.
My PSA rose from 3.2 to 5.1 over the course of 1.5 years with Free PSA at 25% for the last two tests.
DRE showed no evidence of tumor but Uro thought my prostate was a little large for someone my age
PCa diagnosed 4/6/10 after biopsy on 4/1/10
1 out of 12 biopsy samples was positive with 5% of biopsy sample cancerous
Gleason 3+4
Da Vinci surgery on 6/1/10
Pathology report shows cancer confined to prostate and all other tissue clean
PSA tested on 7/15/10: Zero Club membership card issued (trial membership with 90 day renewal)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3895
   Posted 1/29/2011 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Two books you should read Nor..Dr. Walsh's "A Guide To Surviving Prostate Cancer" and 'Invasion Of the Prostate Snatchers by Blum/Scholz. The two books are written from two different viewpoints and will give you a balanced education..

I had RALP surgery (DaVinci) on Sept 3, 2010..On the second day after the surgery, I was able to walk a half-mile with no problems or discomfort. Never needed ANY pain medication..After one week, I was almost back to normal. walking 1 or 2 miles a day..At 10 days, catheter out, I was as good as new except for total ED which still persists. No incontinence problems. At 4 weeks, I developed a staph infection, hospital acquired, associated with accumulating lymph fluid from the removal of several lymph nodes during the operation..Put me back in the hospital for six days, two of them in critical condition..My pathology, much worse than yours, led to failure of the surgery and I am now finishing up my salvage radiation treatments..

So read the books and think it over before you rush into treatment...
Age 68.
PSA at age 55: 3.5, DRE normal. Advice, "Keep an eye on it".
age 58: 4.5
" 61: 5.2
" 64: 7.5, DRE "Abnormal"
" 65: 8.5, " normal", biopsy, 12 core, negative...
" 66 9.0 "normal", 2ed biopsy, negative, BPH, Proscar
" 67 4.5 DRE "normal"
" 68 7.0 third biopsy positive, 4 out of 12, G-6,7, 9
RALP Sept 3 2010, pos margin, one pos vesicle nodes neg. Post Op PSA 0.9 SRT, HT NOW

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 1/30/2011 6:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nor,
I had the catheter removed after one week, returned to work after three weeks. I was told not to lift anything over ten pounds for six weeks. Leakage has been almost non-existant, I still wear the Tena "protective guard" as a precaution. Not much in the erection department yet, I had the procedure Dec 16 2010.
Wish you the best,

Cajun Jeff
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4119
   Posted 1/30/2011 8:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Nor, welcome to HW. I had open and the biggest difference that I have seen is the amount of time with the catheter. I had mine in for 10 days. Recovery was very simple for me very little pain. Came home the second day from hospital at that point I was off of pain meds.

Cajun Jeff
9/08 PSA 5.4 referred to Urologist
9/08 Biopsy: GS 3+4=7 1 positive core in 12 1% cancer core
10/08 Nerve-Sparing open radicalSurgery Path Report Downgrade 3+3=6 GS Stage pT2c margins clea
r3 month: PSA <0.1
19th month: PSA <0.1
2 year PSA <0.1
Only issue at this time is ED but getting better

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 1/30/2011 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   

I had open, 4 1/2 days in hospital, needed lots of pain meds even at home, was on catheter for over 2 months originally due to complicatons.

Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 2680
   Posted 1/30/2011 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Nor, Your stats are better than mine and I would hope you would have a quick recovery.  I did.  My signature gives some of the information.  The main after-effect for me was that I would tire easily.  That went on for a couple of months.  Urinary continence returned fairly quickly and I was able to resume most activities at about the one month mark.  At six weeks, the uro lifted all restrictions regarding physical activity, though I don't think I would have wanted to work a manual labor job all day long.  I'm retired, but my wife and I watch twin 3-year-olds three days a week, and that wasn't a problem.  I first mowed the lawn at about three weeks.  As you'll see in the signature, ED is still an issue, but honestly I'm not fretting about it.  Life and health are a lot more important to my wife and me than sexual potency at age 65.
My wife and I walked two or three miles a day after surgery, which I think greatly speeded up recovery.  That's a real advantage to having surgery in the summer.
Now for a report on recovery that I find ridiculously optimistic, check out the top patient story on this page:
I don't understand why the DaVinci folks keep that story on their website.  It seems both dangerous and unrealistic to me.  We all recover at our own pace, but the answers in this thread do a good job of covering the bases, I think.
Age 65
Dx in June 2010.
PSA gradually rising for 3 years to 6.2
Biopsy confirmed cancer in 6 of 12 cores, all on left side
Gleason 7 (3 + 4)
Bone scan, CT scan, rib x-rays negative.
DaVinci 8/20/10
Negative margins; negative seminal vesicles
5 brothers, ages 52-67 ; I'm the only one with PCa
Continence OK after 7 weeks. ED continues.
PSA 1/3/10: 0.01

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 407
   Posted 1/30/2011 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Firstly, it's the advice of your primary care physician and then urologist/surgeon you should give the greatest weight to.  None of us know you or your health history, or your present condition - beyond what you've shared with us.  Trust those who know you best.  about post-surgery, post-daVinci procedure - my own experience was that I returned to work where I sit at a desk and in front of a computer all day, about 3-weeks post-op.  I would have had difficulty working before then.  Let your body guide you.  Take your cue from it.  Each of our bodies responds differently to the trauma.  Best of luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 2/2/2011 10:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry for your situation, around here ther is a world of knowledge. Don't jump the gun take time to weigh your options. I have a very physically demanding job and it took me about 7 weeks before I could actually return to full duty after my Da-Vinci procedure.Keep us posted.Good Luck!
Age 42 PSA 7.4 4+4 G8
Davinci Sept.8 2010
No incontinence issues but ED issues
1st post surgery PSA <.008

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 2/3/2011 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   

First, as others have said, take your time!

I am the exception.  I had robotic, and everything healed quickly without significant pain EXCEPT for the largest incision on my right side.  That hurt a lot for about six weeks, a sharp, semi-burning type of pain.  It didn't hurt when I was lying down or (strangely) when I was actually walking; everything else (sitting, changing position, etc.) was very painful.  During that time I worked mostly from home (I have a desk job).  Never did get a good explanation as to why I hurt so much, but in any event after about six weeks the pain completely disappeared within 48 hours.

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