What to Expect After a Radical Prostatectomy

When it comes to prostate cancer, your medical team will decide between a variety of treatments. One of those treatments is a radical prostatectomy. As a form of prostate cancer surgery that removes your prostate gland and the tissues that surround it, it has a high success rate. Here's what to expect after yours. 

Using a Catheter

You may need a catheter for anywhere between a few days and a couple of weeks following your surgery. Once you've recovered from your anaesthetic, a nurse or doctor should discuss how your catheter works and how to use it. While you're in the hospital, they'll likely keep a log of how much urine you're passing into your catheter bag. In doing so, they'll get a decent insight into how you're recovering.

Managing Your Pain

When you wake from your surgery, you may find that your medical team are administering pain killers via a tube in your arm. Eventually, they'll transition to oral painkillers and provide you with medications that you can use at home. If you feel as though your pain is unmanageable on the medications you're taking, speak with your surgeon or doctor as soon as you can. As the days go on, you should find that your need to take medication reduces.

Caring for Your Wound

The type of wound and dressings you have will depend on how the surgeon approached your surgery. In all cases, you're likely to have a dressing that requires some attention. Your nurses should change them prior to you leaving the hospital and will advise you on how to do so yourself. If you have dissolvable stitches, you won't need to return to have someone take them out. You may want to ask your medical team about using specialist cushions to support the area as you heal.

Mobilising at Home

There's no denying that your radical prostatectomy affects an area that you depend on a lot, especially for sitting and walking. However, there are ways you can mobilise so you can maximise comfort. Try spending less time sitting each day or change your posture if it's affecting your comfort levels. You can also build up how much you walk each day and eventually progress to walking outside. If you previously spent time engaging in activities such as gardening or heavy lifting, speak with your doctor before returning to them. 

While there are often similarities in each patient's post-surgical experience, your experience is also unique to you. As such, if you have any queries, raise them at the earliest opportunity with your surgeon.