What should my husband expect from the robotic surgery and afterwards?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 8/8/2007 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone!

I'm becoming quite fond of all of you!!!

For those of you who have had the robotic surgery: Would you kind gentlemen please share with me what the robotic surgery was like and what to expect afterwards? Also, how long was your hospital stay? Is a catheter required and for how many days? (Kdnole seems like he is doing great post-op.) I'll take any and all information that you care to share!

Thank you!

Maria Teresa

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 8/8/2007 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   

:-)    Hi ~ Maria Teresa,


As reply postings come in to you in reference to your questions here…. 


...take time to click on the 2nd locked thread at the top of our main page where threads are shown…  the name is listed below.


  Prostate Cancer Resources, Helpful Hints, and Topic Thread Links


Scroll down quite a ways…. and here you will find a few of many “JOURNEYS”… located here and many more throughout the 62 pages.   Look at the signatures when you click on a thread and most will tell you what type of surgery this member had.


Pull what will help you in your journey…. to make the path much smoother.


We are all here for you!!!   Continue to stay close…

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy



This Hug is for You !!! Keep it close…

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 8/8/2007 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Lee & Buddy for helping direct my path and for your patience, too!!! :-)

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 8/8/2007 4:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maria,
I had my surgery on Feb 16, 2007. It was performed at City of Hope in L.A. Since I was from out of state we did all of the preliminary evaluations remotely. I arrived at City of Hope on the 14th of Feb. We went through several pre-op tests and signed the necessary paperwork. The test included EKG, bloodwork, CT scan and consultation. The surgery was set up for the 16th. I went in at 9:00am on the 16th. Walked into the pre-op room. After gown change I was given an IV for antibiotics. The anesthesiologist then came in and gave me a questionaire. At this point my wife was allowed in and she helped with the Q&A's and took my wedding band. The surgeon then came in and told me it would be about 20 minutes. By 11:00am I was wheeled into the OR fully aware of my surroundings. the Anesthesiologist then started talking to me as he hooked up the anesthesia. He showed me the room and the robotic system and asked me to describe it. I remembering saying yes I see it. But nothing else until he awoke me 2 hours later. I barely remember him telling me to lift my head chin to chest as they moved me from the operating table to a gurney. I vaguely remember moving through a hallway. I remember feeling a little sore but I was on moriphine. After 1 hour in post op they wheeled me to my room. At this time it was 5:00 and my wife was at my side. I had as many as 12 visitors that night and by 10:00 I asked to be removed off the moriphine. I was given vicodin and rested until 4:00am. At that time I was awakened by the nurse and he had me take my first walk. about 100 feet. VERY slow. Yes a catheter is necessary for this procedure and it was not much more than a nuisance. That day I had close to 30 visitors (this was kinda where I used to live and I had alot of family and friends here). Looking back I could have left that day but was tired and stayed until 7:00am the next day. I was in and out within 48 hours. I left with the catheter in place and was instructed on how to care for it. by this time I had already spoken to many here at this site and read quite a bit and knew that I was just relax at my sisters house 30 miles from the hospital for a week. I could have come home sooner but was content to stay with family. I also knew that the surgery would likely go well but that the next visit with the doctor was the most important. That did not go as well. I found out I was stricken with advanced disease from the post-op pathology report. A note about the week after the surgery, I was in good spirits and was walking cath and all about a mile a day expanding it every day. Before I met with the doctor for the path results I had the catheter removed. Not pleasant but brief (2 seconds...I chose to forget). I was able to pee and was staged for the doctor. He recommended that I see an oncologist and told me that I was lucky that one of the top dogs was in Nevada. In fact 10 minutes from my house. I was able to see him within a week and began my post op treatments for advanced disease. My issues with incontenance were brief. Just a week after the catheter removal and I was 99.9%continant. A week later 100%.

My doctors, many of them, have told me that I was resilient to side effects pretty much all the way through the treatments. They told me that my good attitude was a large part of it. Even when I was told about the Stage III part I have not let it run my life, but rather I have kept control through education and staying upbeat.

Good luck and be positive.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 8/8/2007 11:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Just a few things to add to TC's post:  I was up and walking by 7:00 the evening after my 8:00 a.m. surgery.  I don't remember anything from pre-surgery to about 2:00 p.m.  I got out the next day, and have to admit that while I was glad to be home in my own recliner, I was still hurting a bit and took the only pain pill I took the whole time.
Some helpful hints for post surgery:  Have some loose sweat pants to wear with the leg bag.  I bought some with a leg zipper, and they worked well.  Also, have some baby wipes, to help clean around where the catheder goes in.  I had a chair in my bathroom that I moved by the toilet, which worked well in bag emptying and changing.  My shower had an inside rack to hang the big bag while showering.  My wife had a walker, which she isn't presently using, to hang the big bag when I went to bed.  Also, you need some ammonia to rince out the bags.  I have a nice large counter in my master bath, which looked like a chem lab for awhile.  Once you get used to the cathedar, it's more of an annoyance, than a pain.  The only thing that I was short of, were these special strips to hold the cathedar on my upper thigh.  Since I took a shower every day, they wore out after two days and I only got two spares from the hospital. 
Good luck, and before you know it, you'll be back normal - a different person, but back to as normal as you can be.
PSA 4.7 (up from 3.2 one year ago)
Biopsy November 8, 2006 1 of 10 cores positive 5% LEFT Side Gleason 3+3
Robotic surgery January 19, 2007
Post Surgery Pathology
     Stage T3a, Gleason 3+4, positive margins and
     capsular penetration RIGHT Side
Post Surgery PSA:  March 5:  0.01
5 month PSA, June 13, 2007:  0.08
Adjuvant therapy began June 26 with Zoladex injection
     Radiation to commence in late August

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 8/9/2007 12:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maria,

I had the Da Vinci robotic surgery last week and am recovering well.

I found a site that may help you that has real patient feedback from many patients concerning issues before and after prostate removal surgery. Perhaps this will help:

The following hospital web site has specific pre- and post-operation instructions:

Here is also a video here about the surgery:

My experience in terms of physical condition and recovery is very good after the surgery. I've already had my post-surgery pathology report and it was good as well.

I wish you all the best,


Post edited to activate link…. 


Post Edited By Moderator (bluebird) : 8/10/2007 12:55:58 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 8/9/2007 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Maria, I was in and out of the hospital within 18 hours (includes surgery) and didn't start walking until the morning after surgery. The biggest pain I have right now is that I am very sensitive right around where the cathater comes out of the penis. Join that with some leakage and it starts to burn, but I get this thing out tomorrow at 4 p.m. Thank God!
Other than that try not to get too much stuff before the surgery bacause you might not need it. We purchase a pack of pads and antibiotic ointment and that was it. You'll get a care package from the hospital and they will give you a list of required items you'll need.
I have only used my leg bag a few times because when I walk in the morning I just carry my big catheter bag in a cloth grocery bag by my side. It's just too darn hot to wear long pants with a leg bag!
Remember everyone is different so wait to see what your husband needs.   
Age 44
PSA 4.8
Gleason 3+3=6
Da Vinci 7/31/07 @ Duke
2.5 hr. surgery, released from Duke with in 14 hrs.
Saved both nerve bundles. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 8/9/2007 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   


I had my robotic surgery on November 1, 2006.  I was originally scheduled for 10:00 AM but I was called the afternoon before and told that the 8:00 AM patient had a complication and I was moved up.  The hospital where I had my surgery was two hours from my home.  I arrived at about 7:00 AM and within 15 monutes was taken back to a surgery holding room with my wife.  Changed into the gown and was hooked up to an IV and another IV connection was made in the other arm.  I was asked by the technician to explain why I was there and what procedure was being done.  This question was posed at least three or four times by different people.  The antithesiologist(sp?) came in and talked to me.  The surgical assistant then came in and introduced herself and said that she would be making the incisions.  She showed me where they would be and then wrote her initials where the large one would be made above my navel.  I was told in the pre-op meeting that I would be given a drug that would not put me to sleep but I would not remember what happened after the drug was administered until I woke up in recovery.  They came in about 7:50 and told me they were going to give me the drug and I kissed my wife and as they said I did not remember anything until I woke up.  This was remarkable because they tell me that I responded to them and helped them get me on the surgical table.  I woke up in recovery at about 11:30 AM and immediately recognized that I was having a bladder spasm.  I told the nurse and she gave me a suppository and a pill and the spasm immediately stopped.  My mouth was already dry and this just made it like cotton.  I did not have any pain.  They gave me a device to suck on to make sure my lungs were working right and to prevent pneumonia.  I was feeling very good and sucked the little pea right where they told me.  Around 12:30 PM they said I was ready to go to a room but one was not available and I stayed in recovery until about 2:00 Pm when one came open.  My wife was obvious upset because I was in recovery longer then they said I would be.  I got to the room and then had another bladder spasm which was taken care of with a pill.  That was the last one that I had.  I felt terrific with no pain but with considerable abdomen soreness.  It felt like I had done 100 situps.  I was up and walking around 8:00 PM and could not sleep so i walked the hallways most of the night.  The JP drain was removed about 1:00 PM the next day and I left the room at 2:00 PM exactly 24 hours after getting there from surgery.  They gave me pain pills to take if I needed them but I only took Tylenol which did the trick.  We stayed at a local motel that night for precautionary reasons and then went home the next morning.  The day after I came home I walked about a half mile and then two days later about a mile but that was pushing it. 

That is about it.


Diagnosed 7/6/06, 1 of 10 core samples, 40%,Stage T1c, Gleason 3+3
Da Vinci on 11/01/06, Catheter out on 11/13/06
56 Years Old
Post Op Path, Gleason 3+3, Approx. 5% of prostate involved
Prostate Confined, margins clear
Undetectable PSA on 12/18/06
No more pads as of 1/13/07
Began injections in April '07
Undetectable PSA on 6/25/07

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 8/9/2007 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I am so grateful for the time you nice people have taken to share your stories with me. This has been a tremendous help! And IdahoSurvivor, the links you posted have excellent and most helpful information! God bless all of you! I think of you guys often during the day and remember all of you in my prayers!


Maria Teresa

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 8/10/2007 1:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maria Teresa,

You're certainly welcome.

I know bluebird has posted a nice set of links on a thread at the top named "Prostate Cancer Resources..." as well. This may help you get information on several other topics.

We will certainly keep your family in our prayers!

- IdahoSurvivor
Age: 54
PSA: 4.3
Biopsy: T1c, 3+3=6, 2 pos. samples in one node, <5% volume
Surgery (robotic): 31 Jul 2007, saved nerve bundle on side of non-cancerous node
Hospital stay: 2 days
Final pathology: Tumor confined to prostate, T2a, 3+3=6, <1% volume
Working to get back into good shape
Waiting for that first post-op PSA

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 8/10/2007 3:44 AM (GMT -6)   
I forgot something else for your husband to expect.

We will be here for him :-)


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 237
   Posted 8/10/2007 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi again, Maria Teresa. I had to write again just to tell you that in reading the others' posts, I realized how much I had actually forgotten about my surgery and post op. Amazing what your brain supresses. I too remember waking up and having a really bad bladder spasm. I think I was being moved from OR table to gurney. I just remember pleading with "them" to let me go to the bathroom, not realizing of course that I already had a catheter in place! I'd forgotten that . . . Morphine drip took care of pain. I had several much more minor spasms when I first got home, more like urgency to go rather than real pain. I also remember having some irritation at the tip of the penis while the catheter was still in. I'd forgotten that as well. Removal of the drain tube was uncomfortable and felt really weird as it extends across your whole abdomen. When the nurse pulled it out, it felt like a snake being pulled out inside your belly. It's over in 2 seconds. Removal of the catheter was a bit painful, but again it was over in a flash. The dr said that it wouldn't hurt. When it was out, I accused him of lying. He said, "I didn't lie. It didn't hurt me a bit!" All the little things one forgets as you turn your attention to getting back to a somewhat normal life!
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