I have been following this forum now for about about 5 weeks... as soon as I found it. I have posted a few times, too. While reading reading here, I've noted that one should get Dr. Walse's book or Dr. Scardino's book. Today I went to the bookstore. Dr. Walse's book was not available but Dr. Scardino's book was. Some things I've read tonight have put me in a panice mode. Here are a few excepts which have frightened me:
"In the hands of average surgeons nationwide, about 8 percent of radical prostatetomy patients report troublesom incontinence. For those operated on by expert surgeons, any long-term urinry control problem--includng minor leakage--is uncommon....By six weeks after surgery, 90 percent achieve social continence... Seventy-five percent of these men are sufficiently dry to stop wearing pads altogether, and the rest simply use a small pad to contain minimal leakage...." p. 340.
"Thogh it's common for people to equate the term 'urinary incontinence' with the complete lack of bladder control seen in infants, in fact the generally accepted definition of 'severe incontinence' after prostate cancer treatment is leaking 2 or more tablespoons of urine per day and being moderately to severely bothered by it...." p. 340.
"In patients who continue to experience some leakage more than six weeks after surgery (I am now 8 weeks), the problem is typically minor, requiring the use of no more than one to two pads per day..." (I use 5-8 per day) p. 342. (Yes, I do Kegals)
The rason for my panic is, tonight I am feeling a bit hopeless about my incontinence. Although I have gained enough control to hold it back after I get up from this computer until I get to the bathroom, if I don't hurry, I will gush and fill my pad to nearly running over.
My feeling is that I must have chosen an incompetent surgeon (recommended by my urologist). I did hardly any homework before the surgery. I guess I was dazed. I did consider the DaVinci, but I setted on the open because I would have had to traveled a good distance to get it. I didn't know and somehow didn't think to ask about how many this guy did before me. I know of one man who he operated on 5 years ago. He's a few years younger than me and he was incontinent for 6 months, was not told abut Kegals, but suddenly became continent after 6 months.
So I am 8 weeks post surgery and I still gush and, according to this book, this is uncommon. It's true... I am in a panic mode and am writing this having just put the book down. I guess I just need some reassurance from you veterans that things can typically get better. The surgeon told me he spared the nerves and the path report was that the cancer was contained in the prostate, but he did not share any stage information... and I didn't know to ask him... but I will. I am to see him next week.