Prostatectomy - what to expect - Prostate Cancer N...

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Prostatectomy - what to expect

Roger_Roger profile image
41 Replies

New here - was hoping to connect with others going through and gone through Prostatectomy. Write in to introduce yourself or leave advice.

T-5 days until surgery. Living with BPH for 10 years. Usual remedy when I couldn't wee stopped working. MRI found 151gr prostate, no cancer. Tired of dealing with BPH, so I'm happy about reduction surgery.

I may sound confident,but there's a healthy dose of fear as well.

EDIT: Thank you all for responding! I've been so busy getting things prepped for my convalescence I haven't been able to respond. I'll update tonight.

41 Replies
theamos profile image
theamos

What type of surgery are they planning for you?

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to theamos

Simple Prostatectomy. From my research and as the doctor explained, it's like taking the middle out of an orange and leaving the rest. This spares the nerves. The only change should be that you have "retrograde ejaculation", otherwise everything functions as before.

allie2020 profile image
allie2020

It sounds like you are having a "simple prostatectomy" to treat your BPH rather than a "radical prostatectomy??"

theamos profile image
theamos in reply to allie2020

There are so many other treatments to take care of BPH other that a prostatectomy, even with a 151 grams

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to theamos

Hmmm.....I wish one of the 3 doctors I've had over the last 10 years mentioned something else to take care of something that large. Are you thinking of things like Euro Lift? My work partner had one of those and still struggles with it a year later. My father had TURP and was very happy with it.

From what I've been told genetics have just made it grow too large. You can't "shrink" it with pills or diet. You have to reduce the number of cells, thus the "simple".

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to allie2020

Yes, just a simple. I wouldn't have agreed to anything more unless cancer was involved.

Tall_Allen profile image
Tall_Allen

That's a very extreme solution. Have you tried a TURP?

ronronHU profile image
ronronHU in reply to Tall_Allen

That's exactly what I was thinking! I'm sorry that I had a radical even though I had cancer.

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to Tall_Allen

That was offered as well. I wasn't all that confident in a doctor guided scope.

Tall_Allen profile image
Tall_Allen in reply to Roger_Roger

So you're more confidant cutting through the neurovascular bundles?

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to Tall_Allen

It's my understanding that this procedure avoids that. Like an orange that you scoop out the middle and leave those bundles and the outside. Please clue me in if there is something I don't know.

Tall_Allen profile image
Tall_Allen in reply to Roger_Roger

That is not how a radical prostatectomy works.

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to Tall_Allen

That's why I'm having a simple robotically guided. Nerve sparing is how it was told to me.

sryoung44 profile image
sryoung44 in reply to Tall_Allen

Radical prostatectomy is having the entire prostate removed. He is only having the insides of the prostate ablated.

addicted2cycling profile image
addicted2cycling

Roger_Roger wrote --- " .... Living with BPH for 10 years. Usual remedy when I couldn't wee stopped working. MRI found 151gr prostate, no cancer. Tired of dealing with BPH, so I'm happy about reduction surgery .... "

1st - IF your mind is 100% made up for surgery --- GOOD LUCK 👍👍 and begin KEGEL exercises NOW if not already having begun. Many issues can present themselves following surgery.

2nd - BUT -- being 72 years OLD with 7 years into my Gleason 10 PCa detour in life if I were in your place *I WOULD NOT HAVE SURGERY* unless ALL POSSIBLE REMEDIES WERE TRIED.

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to addicted2cycling

Well over the last 10 years I've tried many things. They all seemed to have worked until last month. Right now I can't pee on my own, have to use the bag. So surgery seems to be the only solution.

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to addicted2cycling

I noticed your handle. Has your surgery allowed you to cycle more than before? I always had issues after cycling due to poorly designed seats. I'm in Florida and would love to cycle more!

addicted2cycling profile image
addicted2cycling in reply to Roger_Roger

My chosen path was taken to allow continued enjoyment of cycling and walking 5K to Marathon distances and actually 1 year after diagnosis I completed a challenging 307 miles of riding during my 2016 Bike Sebring 12/24 Hour Event >>>

bikesebring.org/

Due to age + bike crashes + treatment my distances have faltered lately but once I recover from the fractured left Tibia I suffered from the Wild Hog *T* boning me 3 weeks ago this morning I hope to be back out riding my numerous 100 mile rides.

Flyfisherbug profile image
Flyfisherbug

Highly recommend turp procedure, if you qualify. Mine has worked GREAT for over a year

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to Flyfisherbug

My father had that and is happy with it 10 years later, so you guys are on to something!

jimreilly profile image
jimreilly

I hope you have researched the many and varied possible results of the surgery other than the removal of the prostate--i.e. the practically certain negative impact on sexual functioning to varying extents, the significant chance of urinary incontinence, the pain and inconvenience of the surgery itself (after by laparoscopic RP I had more pain by far than I had after a non-laparoscopic kidney surgery a couple years before, for unknown reasons, I'm not saying don't do it, just do your research (I realize it's scheduled for quite soon, so this advice is perhaps too late in the game?). And yes, the advice to learn and begin kegel exercises now is good advice. Best of luck. (I did not discover this site until some time after my RP, I'm glad you have discovered it before!).

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to jimreilly

I'm having the simple, so one of the goals is to leave the shell of the enlarged prostate and the nerves. But there are no guarantees! I have a Pre Op paper that outlines every little thing that can go wrong, in excruciating detail. Reads like those commercials for hay fever remedies on tv......that could give you rectal bleeding, brain tumors, and bulging eyes. I know those are supposed to be rare symptoms, but to hear it is not confidence inducing!

plato123 profile image
plato123

I had the the da Vinci robotic. The first 1-2 days after surgery are painful. After that it’s getting use to the Catheter keeping it organized away from kids and dogs was my challenge. Also I recommend lots a laxatives because it hard to push without upsetting the area. And getting constipated like I did after surgery really sucked.

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to plato123

Ugh! I live alone and have been managing a cath for the past 2 months. But I have issues with constipation even without surgery. What do you recommend for laxatives and do you have any other advice?

My surgery is like Da Vinci. This isn't a case of sneezing will bust all your stitches, is it?

plato123 profile image
plato123 in reply to Roger_Roger

Sounds like you have cath experience - lots of salads, lot of clear liquids stay hydrated.I even had beer - one of the benefits of a cath no running to the bathroom

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to plato123

I wanted to also ask how long was it after surgery that you finally started to want to get up and move? I'm sure there are a few days or more that you just want to lay down and rest, but finally you wanted to start to go do a few things around the house. I've read a lot of different doctor's pre-op info online and it seems they want you to get up and walk every few hours. But eventually I would think you get "cabin fever" and at least want to get out of bed.

MikeyVilla profile image
MikeyVilla in reply to plato123

Best trick we found for the catheter overnight, was a mid sized plastic bin / bucket - originally held paint, but can just buy at DIY stores. Kept the dogs away and stable enough not to fall over.

Garyzw profile image
Garyzw

I had robotic surgery, if you dont have cancer find a different cure! Too many side effects.

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to Garyzw

Mine is robotic also. What did you encounter?

Bethpage profile image
Bethpage

Maybe proceed with caution and all available information? My husband's PSA started rising in 2003. It continued to rise, but sometimes fell, from 2003 to 2014. All 11 biopsies were completely negative. In 2014, his very large prostate (125 gr) shut down his urethra, so he was put on a Foley and scheduled for a TURP. We learned that the TURP would have to be done in 2 or more surgeries, so I went looking for a better resolution. Since we live in FL, we landed with Dr. Patel in Celebration. The 11 biopsies had all been TURP. Dr. Patel did not do his own biopsy so no 3T mp-MRI was ever done. Once the pathology from the simple prostatectomy was in, a tumor was found to have been hiding in that very large prostate. The rest of the story is kind of downhill. Moral is to try to be really sure of the first treatment.

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to Bethpage

I also have had my urethera shut down. I was finally able to get that same exact MRI, which is very hard to find an appointment that isn't two months out. No cancer found, but because of the shutdown, I'm having the surgery. I'm wanting to finally nip this in the bud after years of trying so many things. I think it's time to bite the bullet. Since this is robotically guided I'm told they can get more taken out so I shouldn't have to worry about having to do this again years down the road. But there are no guarantees.

Bethpage profile image
Bethpage in reply to Roger_Roger

My husband's simple prostatectomy was a huge success at solving the urine retention problem. I think he'd have been doing TURP over and over again. NoTURP would have ever found the tumor. Blessings on you for your sugery!

Shorter profile image
Shorter

I agree with Tall Allen and several others. Something like a TURP might be better. My prostatectomy changed my life, and not for the better!

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to Shorter

This is a simple, scooping out the middle and sparing the outside and nerves. I wouldn't have let them take it all unless it was absolutely necessary.

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger

Thank you all for replying! I put a message like this on an active mold group on facebook a few years back and got exactly zero replies. I'm so glad to see so many active and caring people here!

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger

So what did you all do with night erections and catheters? I had to come up with my own solution using an old shirt, safety pins, surgical tape, and lubricant.

I've been living with a cath for the last two months since my prostate shut down my urethera. I didn't get the full briefing, so I missed out on back flushing and other training. Later I talked to a nurse friend of mine and was shocked to learn this new info.

I also had no idea about bladder spasms. I had to call his nurse and finally got briefed and given pills. It's under control now but geeze.

I also had no idea the docs have a "nurse" that you call when you have issues at first. One time I was trying to set up an appointment for an issue I was having an decided to try leaving the nurse a message and darned if I didn't get an answer and a prescription without an appointment.

Did you all have these types of issues on your journey?

allie2020 profile image
allie2020

Hey Roger,

Congratulations on your well-researched and well-thought out decision. I hope it all turns out very well for you. I struggled with serious BPH symptoms for over ten years, although I was always able to pee at least some. I was on the alpha blocker Alfuzosin for 6-8 years. My prostate was 80 g in 2012. I never came close to fully emptying my bladder and couldn't ever hold it over two hours. I'm lucky I never got arrested for indecent exposure because when I had to go, I absolutely had to go...freeway, neighborhood, whatever.

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 4+ years ago and by then my prostate was 152 g. I chose radical prostatectomy for my treatment and things have worked out extremely well. The troublesome urinary symptoms are completely resolved, I usually sleep right through the night and just urinate like a normal person. I recovered from the surgery fairly easily and think I was back to full strength in about four months. I did a lot of walking the first six weeks but took it pretty easy. My Urologist told me in no uncertain terms, "no lifting anything over ten pounds, no exercise other than walking and no sex for six weeks from the date of surgery." He's a good guy and I asked him when I could go to the gym and just lift some very, very light weights? Six weeks from date of surgery. There's some really tender healing going on down there so be extremely careful the first few weeks, please. For me, the worst part of the whole deal was the catheter for eight days. I know the big day is coming up soon and you will be in my thoughts.

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to allie2020

Thanks for that, it seems our situations parallel, and it's good to hear a positive story. I think I may have a short reprieve, my surgery has been postponed. I was supposed to get a PET scan of one of my lymph nodes and the doctor didn't let me know it was a prerequisite for surgery. So when the provider called to say they couldn't do it on the appointed day, I rescheduled for after the surgery. So I'm open to alternatives.

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger

As i wrote to Allie, my surgery has been postponed. So if anyone has any suggestions, I'm open!

I also got some disturbing news - according to my doctor the 3T MP MRI that I had is only about 80% accurate in finding cancers ...... so I may yet find that I have cancer in my prostate.

Adf2529 profile image
Adf2529

There is no "simple" RP. Others have said that in this chain. Some ppl do very well with RP, but enough ppl have serious side effects that alternatives should be preferred if that is possible. I would not consider RP without a cancer diagnosis until you have exhausted other therapies. The gold standard for your condition is TURP. In any case, you want a surgeon who has done 1000's of these procedures. Find a center of excellence near you. Get second opinions. Be careful. This is not a trivial decision.

Roger_Roger profile image
Roger_Roger in reply to Adf2529

Thanks all for the advice and well wishes. I have had my surgery and am home recovering. It went well and there were no complications. We could call it T+2 at this point.

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