DB back from DaVinci surgery

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 231
   Posted 12/17/2007 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kids,
Well on Friday the 14th of Dec. we went in and got the surgery.  It was 5 hours long and the doc said that the thing was huge, and due to that fact, he had to do some reconstruction at the bottom of the bladder to chinch it in to fit the urethra.  Anyone have that?  The weight of the prostate was 78 somethings.  I don't remember what exactly but he said it was almost the largest one he had done.  DB had to have a larger hole, made to get it out.  So the one over the navel is about 3 inches up and down.  I was surprised that there was no gauze or staples or steri strips or anything on the holes.  They glued them shut.  Well while on the pain meds thru the IV DB was flying high and no pain except the gas moving up into his armpit and he thought he was having a heart attack.  Well they assured him he was ok.  All the while the car was down in the parking lot with ice and snow on it.  I don't drive his Highlander and really didn't know if I could get him home during the blizzard.  It was the second day and he had been given the chance to go home if he wanted to and since he felt good, (drugs) and I was hearing that we would get more snow that night, we decided to go home.  Where we live is very hilly and when we moved there, we had to buy the 4 wheel drive to get around in the winter.  Anyway I bundled up to go clean off the car while the nurse was doing his paperwork etc.  I got down there to find the car was covered in 1/2 inch of ice, but being the stubborn woman that I am I worked and worked, then cried and cried, as man after man parked their cars and walked right past me without offering help.  Chivalry was sure dead that day.  The more I cried the harder I scraped that glass.  Well I was using the scraper he told me to use, which had a metal blade.  Halfway around the car I noticed that there seemed to be scratches where ever I was scraping.  This car is my hubbie's pride and joy, so I really started crying then.  I was a walking snowwoman and my fingers were purple even though I had worn gloves, as I made my way back into his room.  He looked at me and just shook his head and said "we need help to get home."  But no one could help us. I told him about the windows and he didn't seem to be that upset.  He said he would tell me how to drive, (what else is new?) And so we left with catheter in hand.  I hugged the nurse and asked her to pray that we made it home.  Fortunately we did, and I believe maybe we should have stayed another night because it was rough for us the first night home, which was the second night after surgery.  DB wants me to tell you guys that if you get to stay 2 nights, do it.  Anyway we made it, and after the first and second nights at home we are doing better today.  DB is usually constipated and may have taken too much Milk of Magnesia the second day cause he was terrified of being constipated after the surgery, but he was in the toilet all last night and now things are better.  We meet with robo doc on Friday and DB is making freinds with the bag and hose.  They gave him a leg bag that is so little that I don't think we will use it at all.  The catheter bag is hooked to his thigh with elastic and every time he stood up the whole thing fell down and hurt his, penis.  So I got some surgical tape and taped it onto that hairy leg and it works fine to keep it up and supported. He is having some blood in the urine occasionally but less today.  We don't know for sure if that is normal or not.  But we are so tired that we are just taking it easy and hoping for good path reports to come this week.  God Bless you and we will let you know.
Les and DB 

Les and DB from KC(Les is a member of UC and Ostomy forum also)
DB diagnosed 11-01-07
psa high for several years from 4 to 10, but last one before surgery was 8.6
Gleason 3+3
Da Vinci on 12-14-07

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1464
   Posted 12/17/2007 2:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Les and DB,

Welcome home even though it was not the nicest trip for you. Both of you take it easy for a while. Major surgery takes time to heal and you need time to recover from the ice scraping incident.

Please keep us updated on your progress...

Age 73. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2C Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Catheter out on 12/13/06.  Dry on 12/14/06.
Pathological stage: T2C. Gleason 3+4. Cancer confined to prostate.
PSAs from  1/3/07 - 10/17/07 0.00. 
Next PSA test on 1/15/08
"Patience is essential, attitude is everything."

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 12/17/2007 2:37 PM (GMT -6)   

Les & DB,

Welcome home!  This is a lousey jurney, but it should get better everyday.  I am going through the same process (3 weeks since robot).  I found that the small bag worked fine as long as you are mobile enough to get up & go to the bathroom.  After the first couple of days where I measured the volume to make sure that I was processing fluids, I just went to the bathroom and drained the small beg as if I was going normally.  I had two elastic straps that came wit the bag and they were sufficient except when I was out walking at a brisk pace.  Then they wanted to slip down.   This too shall pass! yeah

The next hurdle will be after the catheter is out.  Getting used to the pad and the muscle control during urination.  I was reading Walsh's book last night and discovered something they didn't tell me at the doc office about doing Keegles when urinating.  Keegles when sitting are different than Keegles when standing (who would have guessed?).  The book says that we should be doing these while standing to improve the muscle control.

Try to relax and this will all work out.  Kepp everyone here updated and ask for advise whenever you need it.


Age- 59
Diagnosed July 2007
PSA-4.0 (Free psa 11%)
Biopsy August 2007 - 2 of 4 on Right Side with 20%, Stage T1c
Gleason (3+4)
Cat Scan & Bone Scan both Clean
Planned DaVinci Surgery Nov. 26th RWJUH Cancer Center, New brunswick, NJ
11/27/07  Home & on the road to recovery
12/4/2007 Catheter Out!
Pathology Report:  Gleason 3+3=6
                          Stage   T2c
                          Organ contained Negative Margins

Doting Daughter
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1064
   Posted 12/17/2007 2:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome home! Glad you guys made it in one piece! I will pray for a good path report and a smooth recovery.
Les I am sorry for all the added stress you have had to deal with too. I know you probably will get tired of hearing this, but take care of you too. The last thing you need is a flare on top of all this! You are obviously a strong woman and I pray that you will continue to find strength when you feel you have none left. 
One tip for the bag....if it continues to pull, ask for a longer tube.  My dad's tube was really long and it made it really easy for sleeping and getting around.  He found the larger bag was more comfortable and convenient than the smaller.  Good luck and God speed!
Father's Information
DX July 15, 2007
Age 62 (now 63)
PSA 5.5
Original Gleason 3+4=7 
Post Surgery Gleason- 4+3=7
DaVinci Surgery Aug 31, 2007
Focally Positive Right Margin
One positive node
Bone Scan/CT Negative (Sept. 10, 2007)
T3a N1 M0
Oct. 17 PSA 0.07
Nov. 13 PSA 0.05
Casodex adm. Nov 07
Lupon beg. Dec 03, 2007 2 yr
Radiation soon to follow

Cedar Chopper
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 432
   Posted 12/17/2007 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hopeso /  Les & DB,

Blood in the urine is normal - especially after a bowel movement - for a few weeks.
It should gradually get clearer  - with occasional darkenings as your normal movements and BM's put a little pressure on the reattached & sutured urethra.

There are all sorts of hints on managing the bag in people's Journey's in Helpful Hints.
(I always recommend Lee & Buddy's  - link found in Bluebird's signature.)
Velcro straps for the tube.  Stretch pants.  A five-gallon bucket to hook the large bag (called a Foley Bag) on while you sleep.  Gravity needs a little room to work!
The small bag is best for when you walk in public.
(Going to the restroom with one involves "lifting your leg.")

Rest and walk a little more each day.  You will get very tired. 
REST.  Then walk a little more.

Drink extra water while the catheter is in.  This helps flush out all that general anesthesia sooner than later.  I've noticed my hangover effects of anesthesia include increased saddness.
With so much trauma to heal, sadness is normal but should not be given anymore free reign than the time it takes to cry.  There will be joy.  Feed it!

Something about fighting cancer puts stuff like scratches on cars in perspective.

And God Bless you two, also!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 12/17/2007 4:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Les & DB,

I bet it was a Great Feeling to be home after all you had to go through, but just keep in mind that every day things will get a little better. The tint of blood in the Foley bag is typical, and I believe that it took a week or so to clear up. Just try to keep yourselves warm; feed DB extra protien so his body can mend faster. Don't let him lift anything heavier than a 1/2 gal of milk, and as soon as he feels like getting up; let him walk around the house. Walking is the best post-op theropy.

So good luck to you both, and keep us posted when ever you get a chance.

Diagnosed at age 60
PSA went from 2.2 to 3.8 in 14 months
2 of 14 cores positive at 10%
Gleason 6(3+3), negative DRE, neg. margins
DaVinci surgery on 02/23/06
Last PSA 08/26/07 @ 18 months "0"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 12/17/2007 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Les and DB,
It is wonderful that you made it home.  DB is now onto his next step in healingwell

I had some kind of catheter hose "keep" double-stick taped to my leg which held the catheter hose stable.  It prevented any ouchy tugs on other bodily parts if the bag was dropped or if the hose got caught on something.  You may see if a medical supply store has this kind of catheter hose "keep" or if the hospital just forgot to supply it.

Anyway, please keep us posted.  Everything, but your journey home, sounds good thus far! tongue
Kind regards,
Barry / Idaho

"Idaho" ~ Barry


Da Vinci Surgery July 31, 2007… 54 on surgery day
PSA 4.3  Gleason 3+3=6  T2a  Confined to Prostate

1st PSA 0.04 (undetectable) 9/11/2007

My web site: http://pca-info.blogspot.com

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 12/17/2007 9:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Les and DB. Glad to see you on the other side. Now, take it easy and don't overdo it. Stay off the ice, you don't need any more new holes anywhere. Let us know about your progress.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 12/17/2007 9:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome home. Prayers for a quick recovery.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 12/17/2007 10:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm so sorry your trip home was difficult. I remember mine and was so glad to see my wife's car pulling down the ramp of the parking garage I started to get tearful. Had I seen you trying to scrape off the ice, I surely would have offered to help! I'm sorry no one helped you. I think if my wife had scratched the car up, I would have laughed at how ridiculous life can be. I know I had to laugh it off when we got rear-ended going to meet friends for dinner on a Sat night 2 days after I got my cath out, and 12 days after surgery.

But the good news is you ARE home, and on the road to recovery. I hope the holidays go more smoothly for you both. You deserve it! Wishing you a speedy recovery.
42 yo.
PSA 4.65
Gleason scores from 4 pathologies of the same biopsy with 2 of 12 cores positive for cancer (if this isn't confusing to the patient...):
1) both cores 3+4 (Weiss Memorial)
2) one 3+4 and one 3+3 (Univ. of Chicago Hosp.)
3) both cores 3+3 (Mass General Hosp.)
4) both cores 3+4 (Northwestern Memorial Hosp.)
9/17/07 - Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy Surgery at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago by Dr. William Catalona.
and the winner is...post op Gleason score of 3+4.
Good pathology report with negative margins, no seminal vesicale involvement, no lymphatic or vascular invasion, bladder and urethral free and tumor volume was 5% of 27.3g.  Amazing how something so small can cause such problems!
9/27/07 - Catheter removal...let the games begin...

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2335
   Posted 12/18/2007 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the follow-up on your successful surgery, Les and DB.  I am so sorry about the problems you had with the snow, driving, etc.  You're right, common courtesy is dead as a doornail.  I used to commute by bus, and healthy commuters would allow the old and the infirm to stand, not offering their seats when the bus was standing room only.    

The catheter bag attached to the leg caused me some consternation, too.  I finally found the sweet spot to tape the tubing where it did not tug on my penis.  My little dog (a dachshund) used to sniff my leg with  the urine bag. Go figure!

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a smooth, uneventful continued recovery!  Take care and hang in there...Tim


Age 59 PSA 2.6 (Quadrupled in one year) Gleason 5
Bilateral nerve-sparing RRP 6/21/06
Cancer confined to prostate, post-op PSA's non-detectable

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 231
   Posted 12/18/2007 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
You guys are the best.
Les and DB
Les and DB from KC(Les is a member of UC and Ostomy forum also)
DB diagnosed 11-01-07
psa high for several years from 4 to 10, but last one before surgery was 8.6
Gleason 3+3
Da Vinci on 12-14-07

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