Rads after robotic prostatectomy

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/3/2011 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   
For those of you who needed some radiation after robotic prostatectomy, how long after the surgery did that start and were you able to get around on your own.  Did you work at the same time?  How did you feel?  Thank you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 2448
   Posted 5/3/2011 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I started Radiation Therapy 3 months after surgery because I never had a undetectable PSA reading. I received 35 treatments total. 5 per week for 7 weeks. I had recovered from my surgery and the RT did not really cause anything other than a little fatigue towards the end and some urgency issues.

Many here who have had RT have done so while working and had no real issues. Most who receive RT are fully recovered from surgery. The body has to heal and especially you need to try to overcome any incontinence issues before starting.

Hope this answers your questions and is helpful.

60 years old - PSA 11/07 3.0 PSA 5/09 6.4
da Vinci 9/17/09 Post Surgery Pathology: GS 4+3=7
Stage: T3a
Tumor Volume 12.5% positive margin, extra-prostatic extension
PSA .6 IMRT completed 1/15/10 35 treatments- 70Gy
2/23/10 Post IMRT PSA 1.0
3/22/10 PSA 1.5
4/19/10 PSA 1.2
5/22/10 PSA 1.3
8/9/10 Radiation for MET
9/7/10 PSA 2.2
1/5/11 PSA 3.9
3/7/11 PSA 4.2
4/10/11 PSA 3.8

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2218
   Posted 5/3/2011 2:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I started my SRT about 9 months after surgery.
I work at home so I had no real trouble travelling back and forth to the hospital each day by train (about 35 miles each way)
I say "no trouble", but I did feel very tired by the end and had to adapt how much I did.

Age dx 48
Apr 09 PSA 8.6
DRE neg
Biop 2/12 pos
Gleason 3+3
Jul 09 DaVinci AVL-NKI Amsterdam
6 Aug 09 Cath out
PostOp Gleason 3+4 Bladder neck & Left SVI -T3b
No perin’l No vasc invasion Clear margins
Dry at night
21 Sep 09 No pads daytime
Nov 09 PSA 0.1
Mar 10 PSA 0.4 sent to RT
13 Apr CT
RT 66Gy ends 11 Jun 10
Tired + weird BMs
Sep 10 PSA <0.1
Jan 11 PSA <0.1
Apr 11 PSA <0.1
Erection OK

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 5/3/2011 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   

I started radiation 18 months after surgery after being undetectable for 14/15 months.  Just fatigue and I too had to adjust the expectations of myself.


Post Edited (Skate) : 5/3/2011 3:51:18 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 5/3/2011 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I started SRT 1/19/11 and finished 3/15/11. Had RP 1/22/08 and had psa of <0.05 until June 2010, when it first became detectable at 0.06. After staying at that level until early January this year, when it went to 0.08. I worked every day with no decrease in activity, and went to gym a few times a week. However, I did note increased uriniary frequency during the latter stages of radiation (now passed) and increased bowel urgency (still a little increased). Surprisingly, I tend to get more tired now than during the radiation from weeks ago. I hope it will pass, because I find it the most annoying feature.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1211
   Posted 5/3/2011 4:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my SRT about 2 years after the RRP. I was able to use public transportation (Bus) for my 40 min trip to and fro. Had some anal discomfort and slight bleeding in the last week or so and felt a bit more tired than usually. I also had a slight increase in urinary urgency. All in all quite manageable. However, remember that we are all a little different at reacting towards RT. Hope it will turn out just fine for your hubby.

Born 1936
PSA 7.9, Gleason Score 3+4=7, 2 of 8 positive
open RP Nov 06, T3a, Gleasons 3+4=7, Seminal vesicles and lymph nodes clear
Catheter out 15 Dec 06, Dry since 11 Feb 07
All PSA tests in 2007 (4) <.04
PSA tests in 2008: Mar.=.04; Jun.=.05; Sept.=.08; at SRT Start=0.1,
Salvage RT completed (33 days-66Gy) 19 Dec 08
PSA: in Jan 09 =.05, all tests to date (Jan 11) <.04

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 5/3/2011 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I worked through and after. I had some bowel issues but that didn't really interfere with work. The week after I finished radiation, I took the family for a trip to Disneyland, and had no problems or fatigue going all over the park there, except that I visited their bathrooms more often than the average 40-ish visitor.

Some people do report fatigue, and I'm not doubting them--just relating my experience.

When I was getting the treatments, I'd just leave work for 30-40 minutes. The hospital was a few minutes away, with VIP parking for radiation patients right by the door. I'd be in and out the door in less than half an hour most of the time, and back at work in the amount of time some people would take for a morning break.

Dx Feb 2006, PSA 9 @age 43
RRP Apr 2006 - Gleason 3+4, T2c, NX MX, pos margins
PSA 5/06 <0.1, 8/06 0.2, 12/06 0.6, 1/07 0.7.
Salvage radiation (IMRT) Jan-Mar 2007
PSA 9/2007 and thereafter <0.1

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 5/3/2011 7:08 PM (GMT -6)   
i started rt about 3 months after rp because i never reached undetectable. i had 39 treatments about an hour and a halfs drive one way each day. i worked during this time but my job is not physically demanding at all. i did have noticeable fatigue toward the end and some urgency issues. nothing compared to what i went through post rp though.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7084
   Posted 5/3/2011 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I have an office job, so not physically demanding, but I do work very long hours. I was able to do my work every day, but well into the sessions I started having to take a short afternoon nap if I wanted to see 7pm.
My biggest issues were increased incontinence, bowel problems (later on), and very significant fatigue. Most have remained with me, now just a year past the start of treatment.
The RT started in the 26th week after surgery (I had Calypso markers implanted, and that added a few weeks to healing time - the minimum "interval" is 18 weeks for my surgeon).
I did have to get around on my own - no one here to help me with that. Driving to and from the sessions was not so much an issue as finding a stopping point midway home to clear out the massive amounts of water I was having to drink.
My day by day notes are in the thread linked below (in my signature).
DaVinci 10/2009
My adjuvant IGRT journey (2010) -

Ralph Alfalfa
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 5/3/2011 7:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I started 9 months post=op after a doubling time of 3 months. No problems until about 1/2 way through when I would get dog tired for a while. had some manageable bowel issues, and a fairly short commute to the center. Naps helped a lot and I took advantage of them as I would go home for lunch, nap, and drive the 20 minutes to the center, 15 minutes there, and then back home or to work. Looking back, the time flew quickly and I had no regrets. The techs were great and when I went back for my 1 yr. post rad they had me back to their niche and it was like old home week. They still had the picture of me on their bulletin board when I wore a graduation robe to my last treatment. Priceless.


Dx: October,27, 2008(the day after my birthday)
Psa 14.5,Gleason (4+3), all scans negative. Biopsy, 4 of 12 positive. DaVinci, 1/19/09. Confined to prostate? No lymph node involvement, all margins clear. 8 wk. Psa<.01,6mon .1,9 mon. .2. Began IGRT 10/09, finished.12/09. Since then,.1.12/22/10. <0.10, trending down. See you in one year, Doc.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1011
   Posted 5/3/2011 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I started radiation 16 months after surgery. I didn't work because I was traveling a long way for treatents. I could have worked. My side effects from both surgery and SRT were minimal,
Dx PCa Dec 2008 at 56, PSA 3.4
Biopsy: T1c, Geason 7 (3+4) - 8 cores, 4 positive, 30% of all 4 cores.
Robotic RP March 2009
Pathology Report: T2c, Geason 8, organ confined, negitive margins, lymph nodes - tumor volume 9%, nerves spared, no negitive side effects.
PSA's < .01, .01, .07, .28, .50. ADT 3 5/10. IMRT 7/10.
PSA's post HT .01, < .01

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 5/3/2011 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I started SRT about 11 month after a failed surgery. I had severe burning problems thoughout my 39 treatments, which eventually destroyed the use of my bladder. I ended up having a urinary by-pass surgery, and now have a urostomy and stoma. I have severe issues with Chronic Fatigue, even though its been nearly 18 months since the radiation has ended. Since then, the radiation has failed as well.

David in SC
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 margin
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, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81
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 9/10

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 5/4/2011 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I started Adjuvant Radiation about 10 weeks after robotic surgery. Normally adjuvant is recommended 8 to 12 weeks after surgery and I believe you have to wait at least 8 weeks for healing (according to my Uro). I just finished RADs today...40 treatments.
regards, <bobr>
Age: 54
Routine Physical on 10-20-2010 DRE Normal
PSA 4.3, up from 0.6 5 years prior
PSA 0.6 on 10-25-2005
PSA 0.4 on 7-30-2004
PSA 0.5 on 5-9-2002
Followup with Urologist on 11/10/2010 after elevated PSA; DRE noted slight bump
November 30th, 2010 had prostate biopsy.
December 9th, 2010, Biopsy results 3 of 12 cores positive.
LLB: Gleason's 4+3=7, 11 MM Tumor Length/15MM Core Length (73%)
LLM: Gleason's 4+4=8, 12 MM Tumor Length/15MM Core Length (75%)
LM: 0.1 MM Tumor Length (1%)0.1 MM Tumor Length
Urologist recommended robotic removal using da Vinci method.
RALP Surgery 12/27/2010 Released: 12/30/2010
Thunderbird Banner Hospital, Glendale, AZ
Post-Surgery Pathology: GS 4+5=9
Pathologic Staging: pT3a, N0, MX; location: Left Side; Volume: 10%
Margins: Left posterior inked margin focally involved
Extraprostatic Extension: Observed
Seminal vesicles: Not observed
Lymphatic/Vascular Invasion: Not observed
Catheter: Removed 15-days after surgery
Post-OP Followup on 1/11/2011; Catheter/Staples removed
Adjuvant IMRT 8 Weeks Post-OP.
No exercise for 4 Weeks Post-OP.
Radiation Oncologist Initial Consultation on 1/18/2011
Calypso Procedure on 2/17/2011; PSA <0.1; Bone Scan Clear
341 Testosterone
CT Simulation on 2/24/2011.
Calypso ART in progress - 40 treatments ending 3/3/2011

New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/4/2011 7:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I had 9 weeks of radiation starting about 8 months post surgery. It was essentially adjuvent rather than salvage but took a while set up. I drove (about 40 minutes) each day without major problem although I did have a minor bump in the car one day towards the end. May have been a lapse of concentration affected by treatment? I felt pretty fatigued towards the end and was glad I took the time off work. Also some bowel issues - urgency, pain passing stools, lack of control at the end. That all soon passed but a year after treatment further problems occurred with my bladder which I am still dealing with. So far treatment was successful (20 months post radiation) and cancer is undetectable.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 5/4/2011 7:45 AM (GMT -6)   


Do you mind sharing the problems you had with your bladder one year out of radiation?


New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/4/2011 9:59 AM (GMT -6)   

Blood in urine started 11 months after radiation and around the same time I started leaking urine at night. Urologist examined the bladder by cystoscopy and suspected bladder cancer. I had TURB surgery to remove and biopsy the tissue in question. It came up negative for cancer, just chronic inflammation (presumably radiation induced). However since the TURB procedure I have been almost totally incontinent. Seems that forcing the TURB instrument past the sphincter that was damaged by the prosatectomy and radiation was the straw that broke the camels back. I am now on 8 diapers a day and have tried various medications without effect so far. Looks like I might have an artificial sphincter in my future.

In addition the combination of radiation and prostatectomy has given me lymphadema. That is damage to the lymph system in the pelvis which affects the ability of lymph fluid to drain. As a result I have swelling in the legs and pelvis. It is controlled fairly well by pressure stockings and therapeutic massage but not fun all the same.

good luck all

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