Radical prostatectomy - discharge
You had surgery to remove all of your prostate, some tissue near your prostate, and probably some lymph nodes. This article tells you how to take care of yourself at home after the surgery.
Prostatectomy - radical - discharge; Radical retropubic prostatectomy - discharge; Radical perineal prostatectomy - discharge; Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy - discharge; LRP - discharge; Robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy - discharge; RALP - discharge; Pelvic lymphadenectomy - discharge; Prostate cancer - prostatectomy
When You're in the Hospital
You had surgery to remove all of your prostate, some tissue near your prostate, and probably some lymph nodes. This was done to treat prostate cancer.
What to Expect at Home
You may be tired and need more rest for 3 to 4 weeks after you go home. You may have pain or discomfort in your belly or the area between your scrotum and anus for 2 to 3 weeks.
You will go home with a catheter (tube) to drain urine from your bladder. This will be removed after 1 to 3 weeks.
Change the dressing over your surgical wound once a day, or sooner if it becomes soiled. Your health care provider will tell you when you do not need to keep your wound covered. Keep the wound area clean by washing it with mild soap and water.
Your scrotum may be swollen for 2 to 3 weeks if you had open surgery. You may need to wear either a support (like a jock strap) or brief underwear until the swelling goes away. While you are in bed, you may use a towel under your scrotum for support.
You may have a drain (called a Jackson-Pratt, or JP drain) below your belly button that helps extra fluid drain from your body and prevent it from building up in your body. Your provider will take it out after 1 to 3 days.
While you have a urinary catheter:
After your catheter is removed:
DO NOT drive the first 3 weeks after you come home. Avoid long car trips if you can. If you need to take a long car trip, stop at least every 2 hours.
DO NOT lift anything heavier than a 1-gallon (4 liters) milk jug for the first 6 weeks. You can slowly work back up to your normal exercise routine after that. You can do everyday activities around the house if you feel up to it. But expect to get tired more easily.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and take stool softeners to prevent constipation. DO NOT strain during bowel movements.
DO NOT take aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), or other similar medicines for 2 weeks after your surgery. They may cause problems with blood clots.
Sexual Problems After Surgery
Sexual problems you may notice are:
These problems may get better or even go away, but it may take many months or more than a year. The lack of an ejaculate (semen coming out with orgasm) will be permanent. Ask your doctor about medicines that will help.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your provider if:
While you have a urinary catheter, call your provider if:
Catalona WJ, Han M. Management of localized prostate cancer. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 112.
Nelson WG, Carter HB, DeWeese TL, Antonarakis ES, Eisenbergr MA. Prostate cancer. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 84.
Resnick MJ, Koyama T, Fan KH, et al. Long-term functional outcomes after treatment for localized prostate cancer. N Engl J Med. 2013;368(5):436-445. PMID: 23363497 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23363497.
Skolarus TA, Wolf AM, Erb NL, et al. American Cancer Society prostate cancer survivorship care guidelines. CA Cancer J Clin. 2014;64(4):225-249. PMID: 24916760 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24916760.
Review Date: 5/1/2017
Reviewed By: Jennifer Sobol, DO, urologist with the Michigan Institute of Urology, West Bloomfield, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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