I had RRP, just over 3 years ago and here are my recollections:
1. Pelvic Lymph Node Dissection (PLND) is removal of one or more lymph nodes at the time of surgery. If PCa is found in a lymph node, it means the cancer has probably spread. I had two nodes removed and both were clear. The extent of the dissection is a surgeon decision.
2. Whether you need blood depends on how the operation proceeds. My surgeon told me ahead of time that I probably wouldn't need blood but had me mentally prepared for it just in case. As it turned out, I didn't need blood ~ lost about
1.5 pints, and felt decidedly dizzy when standing for the following day, and my blood pressure was the lowest it had been for years!
3. As to number of surgeons, again it depends. I don't know in my case ~ I was asleep at the time.
4. I was walking gingerly the evening of the operation. Because of the dizziness, I felt more comfortable using a walking frame, but again that was only for the first day. I don't remember any great pain, but I am sure there would have been some the first few days at home. I was soon out out on half-hour walks, and found the catheter and bag to be the biggest impediment.
5. There are no guarantees with the pathology report, only probabilities. I was organ confined, but Gleason 8, so a recurrence was on the cards and duly occurred.
6. My surgeon recommended non-nerve-sparing because I was a Gleason 9 at biopsy, and he wanted to take the biggest margin possible. Usually surgeons make the final decision during surgery, depending on how close the tumor is to the margins.
Good luck with your RRP if you decide to go that route.
No symptoms; PSA 5.7; Gleason 4+5=9; cancer in 4/12 cores
Non-nerve-sparing RRP 7 March 2008 age 63
Organ confined, neg margins. Gleason downgrade 4+4=8
Bimix worked well; now using just VED
PSA undetectable at first but then rose to 0.4, doubling time 7 months
Following diet change, PSA static at 0.4...