Open Radical Prostatectomy 10/08/07

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/5/2007 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone, Sorry for my absence lately, had some other medical issues with other family members I have been tending to.  Anyways an update and question.
My husband is scheduled for the 8th of October for a open radical prostatectomy.  I have been reading alot of the post, and was wondering if anyone out there
has any advice on the surgery.  We are expecting and hoping the doc can spare the nerves and he will check the lymphs for appearance and nodules.  If he see's anything
abnormal he will take the lymphs also.  We are expecting my husband will be in the hospital for 2-3 days.  The doc will make the incision from the belly button down to the pubic bone.
However, my husband on the pre-op appointment failed to ask the length of time for this type of surgery. Any idea's out there?
ALSO, I havn't read much on the emotional side effects from the men.  I am experencing some on edge emotions, some of which are quit sharp at the bite.  But I realize he is under alot
of emotions that are new and fearful.  Any advice from the men out there would be of great help.  I have tried to give all the love and support, care and compassion I can, I don't know what else to say or do. He feels like a fish waiting to be gutted, is how he put it.
Thank for reading.
7/19/07 PSA 8.3
8/16/07 Biopsy
1 of 14 Cores positive 3-5%
Gleason (3+3)=6
Doctor consult 9/18 for our decision on treatment

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 10/5/2007 11:00 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi ~ Cheryl & Loved One...

We had the open and are doing just fine...  We all have to make the decision that is best for us... and seeing your other threads (listed below)... you've researched and found what will be the best path for you to follow ~ you guys will do just fine. 

Please as time permits I hope you will visit "OUR JOURNEY"... listed in our signature below.  If you can pull just one thing from our experience to help make your journey a little smoother.... it will be the greatest gift we can give to you.

October 8th is just around the corner....  and we will definitely keep you extra close.

Thinking of you and sending special thoughts your way as you move toward surgery day…  As you feel up to it ~ touch base!! Please continue to stay close... for both of you and for all of us!!


We hope  “Our Journey” can help guide you over at least one stepping-stone on your path.  Keeping you close… in thoughts and prayers. 


“Our hands will be on your shoulders”

special words borrowed from hamala


In Friendship,

~~*~~*~~*~~~)*&^%  Group Hug %^&*(~~~*~~*~~*~~


From the 3 of us...

Lee, Buddy, & Murphy



(Direct Link ~ just click on the title below and a new window will open!  

Reminder … click on the REFRESH icon once you get there)

Threads started by: Cherfd

open Radical Prostatectomy 10/08/07

Brachytherapy (seed travels)

Just read Sheldon Marks book Prostate and Cancer

Update to my previous posting

Making the right decision

mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina


v          We invite you to visit our personal thread:  Click Here:  “Our Journey” ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

3rd PSA 08-07-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 883
   Posted 10/5/2007 11:18 PM (GMT -6)   

    As far as the open RRP goes the surgery itself is not as bad as some would have you believe.  I was never really bothered by the incision.  I did have a bleed sometime after surgery that caused my cathiter to clog and the bladder swelled.  I also have not done well with the incontenance.  Erections have returned within the adverage time frame.    The Robot is new and high tech but all the data shows there is not much difference in the incontenance and ED rates.  I did like the fact that my doc was able to get a hands on feel for things.

    Although I have not had an easy time I'm sure you will do fine with the open RRP.

    Good Luck.....KW

    PSA 5.7 - Discovered during Annual Physical with Family Practice Dr.
    Gleason 7
    Biopsy - 3 of 12 positive (up to 75%) all on left side of prostate
    RRP on Oct. 17, 2006 - Nerves on right side saved.
    All Lab's clear.  No Cancer outside prostate
    Cathiter in for 3 weeks due to complications in healing. Removed Nov. 9, 2006
    First Post op PSA on Dec. 11, 2006  Undetectable 0.00
    Office visit on Jan. 19th due to continued excessive urine leakage.
    Feb.20th Cystoscope and 2nd Post Op PSA. Another 0.00.....:)
    Dr. said everything looks fine.  Continue to work Kegeal's. Leaking appears to have improved  after Cystoscope?!?!?!  Down to 3-4 pads per day!
    March 1st  Leaking has crept back up to 6 - 8 pads a day ??????? 
    March 8th Started Detrol LA to see if it helps with the leaking?
    March 29th Collagen injection into sphincter / bladder neck area to control excessive leaking.  Worked for a couple of days then back to leaking.
    April 17th (Six Months Post Op) 2nd Collagen Injection to control excessive leaking.  Leaking started back next day at work!
    May 14th Second Opinion about my leaking and Options at OU Medical Center.  After reviewing my records the Dr. feels I will probably need some surgical intervention to stop my leaking.  But did agree to try Bio-Feedback and work hard on the Kegeal's first!
    May 30th Follow up with my Dr. and 3rd Post Op PSA 0.00 agian!!!
    June 1st Start Bio-Feedback to try to control my leaking.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 10/5/2007 11:35 PM (GMT -6)   

It is a nervous time for both patient and loved ones. Hang in there and know we'll all be thinking of you both.
It's perfectly normal to feel uncertain and fearful. As you have read in here, your DH will be roaming the halls and bugging you to get home to his recliner and remote in a very short time.

Prostate surgery is major surgery however, with the skills surgeons have these days, recovery is so much more rapid than it used to be. The surgery time is for open is about 2 hours. Nerve sparing is one of those things no surgeon can promise until he/she has an oportunity to get a good look. Same with nodes although they usually take a couple to examine. Nodes are small and plenty so don't worry if the surgeon takes a couple.

Take a good book you probably won't read and a hand to hold. We'll be saying a prayer for a quick recovery for him and a good nights sleep for you both once it's all over. Best of all good wishes.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1464
   Posted 10/6/2007 12:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Cheryl,

I had open surgery and it took about 1 1/2 hours. I was in the hospital for two nights and was up and walking around about 20 hours after the surgery. The surgeon saved both nerves. I had no problems with the incision and the catheter came out 6 days after surgery. I was dry about 8 hours after the catheter came out and threw away the pads the next day. This was my 8th abdominal surgery and far the easiest - lots easier than hernia surgeries.

To get ready, your DH needs to get in the best physical and emotional shapr that he can manage. Being fearful is natural and we all go through it. You have to build up your confidence in the surgical team and become their cheerleader. The only things he is allowed to take into the operating room are his naked body and a great attitude.

As far as the decision to have open surgery vs robotic surgery is conserned, the most important consideration is you having confidence in the surgeon. You do the research, read the posts here on the forum, talk to doctors, make the decision and never look back.

Good luck and please stay with us...

Age 73. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2C Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Pathological stage: T2C. Gleason 3+4. Cancer confined to prostate.
PSAs from  1/3/07 - 7/18/07 0.00. 
T level on 4/2/07 - 48     On 7/16/07 - 613
Started Tri-Mix on 8/7/07.  .02 ml and 50 mg Viagra.  It works!!!
Next PSA and T tests on 10/17/07
"Patience is essential, attitude is everything."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 10/6/2007 6:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Cherfd. I had open surgery on May 30th 07. My operation was 1.5 hours first thing in the morning. I was up and walking that night and went home on that friday afternoon. My pain was never more than a 2-3 ona scale of 10. I have had no pain meds since I left the hospital. I never filled the prescription. No bladder spasms either. The cathater is tough, mine was for two weeks but you can stand anything two weeks in order for things to heal. I have been mostly dry for about two months and really wear a pad for insurance. When I have to go I really have to go and sometimes I can't hold it until I reach the toilet. Constipation was tough, but I have problems with that anyway. Have the Dr, give him something for that. Don't worry things will be Ok but everyone is different and hopefully his situation will be not different than mine. Life is good. Frist PSA was less than 0.1 and we have a new grandson. Let us know how things go with the surgery and we will see you guys on the other side of this thing. Let the healing begin. Take care.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 10/6/2007 8:10 AM (GMT -6)   

Take heart in the success stories you've read about here. My surgery was about one hour and forty-five minutes. I was very lucky in that I didn't need any pain medications, did not experience gas or bloating and had no bladder spasms. I was out of surgery at 11:00 and was walking the urology floor at 5:00, and released the next morning. My surgeon was calling me the "poster boy for robotic surgery." The catheter was more of a distraction more than anything. Every so often I would notice a blood clot in the bag and would experience some leaking around the tube but my surgeon told me it was nothing to worry about. I had my first bowel movement about three days after surgery and was sore around the five dime-sized incision areas for about six weeks, but it was not painful at all.

All of us are different in dealing emotionally with the surgery, and of course, I'm sure that depends on what the outcome is. No matter the results, it's a life changing experience and we've all been changed forever. For me, I now have a greater appreciation for life and treasure every day.

You and your husband will be in my thoughts and prayers. Please check back in.
Age: 49
Diagnosed: March 25, 2007
PSA: 3.0
Biopsy: Gleason 6. Five of twelve core samples positive with <5% each. No perineural invasion seen.
DaVinci Surgery: May 21, 2007 at Florida Hospital, Orlando, Florida. Surgery took one hour and 45 minutes. According to my surgeon, everything went textbook and the prostate peeled away nicely.
Post-op Pathology Report: Upgraded to Gleason 7 (3+4), negative margins, negative capsular penetration, negative seminal vesicles, lymph nodes left intact, multifocal perinural invasion, 15% of prosate involving cancer in both lobes.
Continence: Out of the pads at five weeks. Still have some very minor stress incontinence at times but it's not an issue. Still Kegel every day and will continue to do so.
Erections: Yes! With the assistance of Cialis.
1st Post-op PSA: <0.1
2nd Post-op PSA: <0.1
Family history: My Father had his prostate removed at age 67 in 1997 and has had a <0.1 PSA for the past 10 years. I was diagnosed at a much earlier age and had a more agressive cancer than my father. Go figure.

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 10/6/2007 9:20 AM (GMT -6)   

I just got the cathater out from my open surgery done on the 24th.  I can tell you my experience, which may not apply to your husband.

I entered the surgery room at 720am, was awakened in the recovery room at 1030am, and was in my room by 12:35pm.  I had a right inguinal hernia repair done along with the prostatectomy, so that added 30 to 45 minutes or so of surgical time.  I asked for and received a bladder spasm suppository in the recovery room, which eliminated any discomfort I had.  I recommend you discuss with your surgeon doing this, along with a prescription to take home for as needed use. The pain level from recovery room to discharge time was maybe a 6-7 immedialtely after I got to my room, but the nurse gave me a painkiller shot in the iv, and took care of that.  After the inital pain control, pain stayed in the 3-4 area the rest of the day, and was mostly gone the next day.  Any pain left was from movement, and easily tolerated as it mostly stopped when I stopped moving.  lol  The incision was 5 inch long, centered midway between the belly buttom and pubic bone.  Mine is stitched internally with dissolvable threads, the outer is glued together, makes a nice clean barely noticeable scar, I am thinking.  I had a drainage tube on the left lower abdomen, which was painlessly removed the day after surgery.  It left a pea sized opening which has scabbed over and is slowly sealing and filling up.  The surgeon placed a On-Q lidicaine numbing pump with a tiny line running and laying down in the glued incision.  It was a real value to keep the incision numbed for 48 hrs.  The amount of cutting is about the same as the robotic 5 or 6 cuts they make, if you total the length of them, so I don't consider that a factor.  The advantage of open, is the doctor gets a hands on technique for removal, and I think there's a better chance of truly evaluating the surrounding margins and bed by both sight and feel  Personal opinion, of course.  I was on my feet and walking 5 hrs. after surgery.  I began drinking as much water as I could stand, after all you are on a catheter bag, this flushed out clots, blood and left overs from surgery.  Drinking all you can and walking is key to a quick recovery and fast discharge from the hospital.  I walked 2 times that night, was on light soft food the rest of the day of surgery.  Next morning, I was allowed a regular diet.  I managed to keep a low grade fever for 6 days, which is a couple days longer than expected during recovery.  I had some amount of swelling and bloating in the abdomen, most of which was relieved first with the initial passing of bowel gas (where does that much come from in such a short amount of time)  lol , and later with the first bowel movement. 
That morning I walked, got to know my limitations with the cathater, got some home care instruction for wound care and cathater care.  I was discharged late that afternoon.  I was sore for 2 days, had low range pain for 2 days after discharge.  Nothing agonizing in either case.  After the 3rd day I felt probably 80% back, as far as pain and soreness.  I was back to full mobility, almost full stretching and pain free after 4 or 5 days.  I showered the day after I got home, which was the 2nd day after surgery.  No baths or hot tubs for 4 weeks.  At that time, all the dressings came off and the On-Q pump line came out, when the dressing did.  The wound is healing fine, and is almost complete 11 days after surgery.  It is no problem and no pain.  Any limitations I had after surgery was created by the cathater and bag.  I am on a 5# weight restriction for 4 weeks, then go to 10 lb for 2 weeks and full release after that. 

I don't know if the robotic would be easier, but I do know that the big issues for me after surgery was the inconvience of the catheter rather than the open surgery wound and recovery.  I suspect I would have felt as good/miserable with either procedure.   I hope my experience helps you in your surgery preparation. 


James C. 
Help support the forums so they can support you: 
Age 60 
4/19/07   PSA 7.6, referred to Urologist
4/26/07  Urologist prescribes 3 weeks of antibiotics/anti-inflam. due to past history of Prostatis.  DRE- nothing detected but 'gross enlargement"
6/5/07    Recheck of PSA: 6.7, biopsy scheduled.
7/11/07   Biopsy- 16 core samples, ultrasound size of gland around 76 cc. Staging pT2c
7/17/07   Pathlogy report:  3 of 16 cancerous/ 5% involved, left lobe top, center, bottom, Gleason 3/3:6. 
8/3/07     Decision made for conventional RP surgery, scheduled for Sept. 24.
9/24/07  Conventional  Radical Retropubic surgery performed 
9/26/07 Post-op Path Report: Gleason unchanged 3+3=6 Staging pT2c,
Prostate 110 gms, 2.2"x2.2"x1.75"
10/5/07  - Catheter out, no leaks, good control, so far, so good- end of first day
1st PSA scheduled 11/15/07

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 10/6/2007 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Jame C ~ glad to know you'll be updating "Your Journey"... you have important information to share!!!  See you soon on your personal thread...>>>Journey- James C.
tongue   Cheryl and Loved One....
You are obviously feeling the love that is surrounding you as you head into surgery!!!  yeah
Don't forget to keep us close ~ okay!!!  We need to hear from you once you settle in when you get home.  In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina


v          We invite you to visit our personal thread:  Click Here:  “Our Journey” ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

3rd PSA 08-07-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 10/6/2007 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   

To clarify some myths out there, here's the skinny on my open procedure a little over a year ago:

1. Surgery took ONE HOUR

2. NO transfusion (very little blood loss)

3. Discharged 48 hours after surgery

4. Catheter for 10 days

5. Back at work (office job) 12 days post surgery

6. Fully continent four weeks post catheter removal

7. Used one pad per day for four weeks (total of 28...used only half the bag of Depends) post catheter removal (pads were 95% dry at end of each day)

8. Nothing strenuous for six weeks

9. Recommenced running regimen six weeks post-surgery

10. Ran a seven miler in 1:05 eight weeks post surgery

11. Never dripped a drop during entire running exercise regimen

12. Had intercourse with the Mrs. the other Viagra or other form of artificial enhancement necessary

13. Most important of all: >0.1 PSA post surgery

Cheryl, you and your husband should think positive. A good result is around the corner.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 10/6/2007 5:39 PM (GMT -6)   
They aren't myths SJ...they're real life experiences. It's nice to hear the good, bad and fugly. Your experience, as well as that of my DH (and others) are reflective of what attention to PCa has done for development of better treatments/procedures. Old procedures made better is a very good thing :>) Thanks for daring to post your "13" great things!!! :>)


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