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Prostate Cancer Surgery Recovery Time

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Frequency And Limitations Of Assessment

Tom Had a Quick Recovery after Robotic Prostate Surgery at NWH

In recent reports, the second leading cause of the low recovery rate from erectile dysfunction is that unlike urinary incontinence, preoperative function cannot easily be assessed postoperatively in all patients. In other words, age, preoperative function measured with the IIEF-5, and the extent of intraoperative NVB sparing are well-proven independent factors that directly affect recovery of erectile function. However, because these variables differ among individuals, consistent postoperative improvements are difficult to identify. Thus, to control for these variables, most reports on erectile dysfunction have only included a subset of patients such as those aged < 60 years those with normal preoperative erectile function, defined as an IEF-5 score of at least 22 and those with complete bilateral preservation of the NVB during surgery. However, the patients satisfying these conditions typically only account for < 10% of all patients .

Complications And Recovery After Prostate Surgery

The healing process and possible complications should be well monitored after prostate cancer. As with any surgery, postoperative care and the recovery process is important after prostate surgery. Some complications such as bleeding and pain are quite common in the postoperative period of prostate surgery. In addition, it is recommended to check the patient for the signs of infection in the surgical site.

What Are The Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer

Risk factors for prostate cancer include age, family history, race, and obesity. You may be at higher risk for prostate cancer if you are over age 50, have a family history of prostate cancer, are overweight, or if you are a Black man. See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Trouble passing urine

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Prostatectomy: What To Expect

Many prostate cancer patients dont need surgery. But for young patients with prostate cancer that hasnt spread, a surgery called a prostatectomy can help them become cancer-free and put prostate cancer treatment behind them. John Davis, M.D., a urologist who performs hundreds of prostatectomies each year, explains what patients undergoing this procedure can expect, including prostatectomy side effects and risks.

What is a prostatectomy?

A prostatectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer surgery types include:

  • Robotic prostate cancer surgery: In this procedure, called robotic radical prostatectomy, a surgeon makes several small incisions in the lower abdomen and uses a robotic device to remove the prostate.
  • Open radical prostatectomy: The surgeon makes one large incision in the lower abdomen to remove the prostate.

Robotic radical prostatectomies have become increasingly common over the years, and most surgeons prefer to conduct the procedure this way because its a little easier on them. But its important to know that both methods are safe.

Who needs a prostatectomy?

For some patients, prostatectomies will be the only treatment they undergo. Others who may have a difficult time recovering from surgery or have more advanced cancer may also have chemotherapy or hormone therapy treatment as well.

How long does it take to recover from a prostatectomy?

What side effects do patients experience following prostate removal?

What To Expect After Surgery

prostate biopsy recovery time

A prostatectomy is major surgery from which your body needs time to recover. Your doctor will discuss the details of your recovery with you.

Typically patients stay in the hospital overnight after surgery and then need to recuperate at home for a month before returning to work. Most men can start to drive a few weeks after surgery. You should avoid heavy lifting for several weeks after surgery. It usually takes about six weeks for most men to feel back to normal.

This page provides general information about what you can expect in the first hours and days right after surgery. You may also want to read more about:

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What Causes An Enlarged Prostate

We still dont really know all the things that cause the prostate to grow. But we do know about two risk factors that can increase your risk of having an enlarged prostate.


Your risk of having an enlarged prostate increases as you get older. Many men aged 50 or over have an enlarged prostate, but they dont all get symptoms. And some men have symptoms that dont bother them.

Hormone levels

The balance of hormones in your body changes as you get older. This may cause your prostate to grow.

Other factors

Some studies show that obese men and men who have diabetes may be more likely to develop an enlarged prostate. Regular exercise may help to reduce your risk of urinary symptoms. But we still need more studies into the causes of enlarged prostate to know for certain if, and how, we can prevent it.

There is also some research that suggests you may be more at risk of developing an enlarged prostate if your father or brother has one. Again, further studies are needed to confirm this.

Adverse Reactions To The Anesthesia

If a person has a history of swelling of the face or generalized itching, it is important to inform the anesthetist before the procedure because, although allergic reactions to anesthesia can be mild, involving only wheezing or some skin irritation, it is also possible to experience an anaphylactic response which can be life-threatening.

Somebody suffering from an allergic reaction to an anesthetic may display signs like breathing difficulties, low blood pressure, rashes, hives and swollen skin around the eyes or mouth and throat. It is possible to perform tests prior to the surgery to identify which chemicals trigger an allergic reaction and if necessary an appropriate alternative anesthetic solution can then be chosen.

Other adverse reactions, such a muscle soreness, a sore throat from the breathing tube or nausea and vomiting after the surgery are a lot more common than allergic reactions. Around 10 percent of people will experience some kind of adverse reaction to anesthetic drugs, and anesthetists are trained to recognise and treat reactions as and when they occur during or after surgery.

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Tips For Recovering From Prostate Removal

  • Prostate Cancer: Surgical Management. Urology Care Foundation.
  • Instructions For Care Following Conventional Prostatectomy/Robotic Prostatectomy. University of Michigan Health System.
  • Surgery for Prostate Cancer. American Cancer Society.
  • Treatment Options by Stage. UPMC Cancer Center.
  • Prostate Surgery Recovery Time

    What is the recovery time after surgery for an enlarged prostate?

    Your incisions may be sore one to two weeks after the procedure. You will also have a catheter inserted during this time. Within four weeks, you will be able to return to normal activity with minor restrictions. For most men, it may take about six weeks to return to normal.

    The exact recovery time depends on the type of condition, the severity of symptoms, and the surgical approach. Some men may take longer than six weeks to recover and heal.

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    What Type Of Patients Are Candidates For Robotic Prostatectomy

    Robotic laparoscopic prostatectomy is used to treat patients who have clinically localized prostate cancer. Most patients who are candidates for open radical prostatectomy are also excellent candidates for the robotic approach. In many centers including the University of Florida, the robotic approached is the treatment of choice for the surgical management of clinically localized prostate cancer.

    How Does The Robotic

    It is similar to the conventional, minimally invasive laparoscopic prostatectomy. However, working from a special console in the operating room, the surgeon operates four precision-guided robotic arms to cut and remove the prostate. The procedure uses a small video camera, inserted through a keyhole-sized incision to provide surgeons with magnified, 3-D images of the prostate site. This expansive view allows doctors to see the nerve bundles and muscles surrounding the prostate. The robotic arms, with full 360-degree rotation capabilities, are placed through several other keyhole incisions allowing surgical instruments to move with greater precision, flexibility and range of motion than in a standard laparoscopy.

    The procedure usually takes 2 to 3 hours under general anesthesia. Most patients experience only a small blood loss and blood transfusions are needed in less than one percent of patients. Prostatectomy patients typically spend one night in the hospital and are usually discharged as soon as their laboratory tests are acceptable, pain is controlled and they are able to retain liquids. Patients are discharged with special catheter, which is removed during an outpatient visit 5-7 days after the operation.

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    Who Should Undergo Radical Prostatectomy

    Men younger than age 75 with limited prostate cancer who are expected to live at least 10 more years tend to get the most benefit from radical prostatectomy.

    Before performing radical prostatectomy, doctors first try to establish that the prostate cancer has not spread beyond the prostate. The statistical risk of spread can be determined from tables comparing the results of a biopsy and PSA levels. Further testing for spread, if needed, can include CT scans, bone scans, MRI scans, and ultrasound.

    If it appears that the prostate cancer has not spread, a surgeon may first offer other options besides surgery. These can include radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or simply observing the prostate cancer over time, since many prostate cancers grow slowly. Depending on how high the risk of cancer spread, pelvic lymph node dissection may be considered, as well.

    What Are The Penile Rehabilitation Protocols

    Prostate Cancer

    Many protocols for penile rehabilitation have been developed. Dr. Clavijo can discuss options in detail with you in clinic. Some popular options include the daily use of a medication like tadalafil with the use a vacuum erection device. Penile injections are also used by some patients who want to start having penetrative intercourse soon after their surgery. Regardless of what is chosen our clinic can help guide you through your recovery period.

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    What Are The Patient Criteria For Robotic

    The decision to surgically treat prostate cancer involves many considerations. UC Davis urologic surgeons will discuss your treatment options and help you decide the best course of action. Nearly all patients diagnosed with localized prostate cancer will have the option of choosing robotic-assisted surgery. It is the now most commonly selected prostatectomy approach in the United States. Patients with significant abdominal adhesions or obesity, however, may not be appropriate candidates for the this procedure.

    Types Of Radical Prostatectomy

    The prostate gland lies just under the bladder and in front of the rectum.

    Surgeons choose from two approaches to reach and remove the prostate during a radical prostatectomy. One is a traditional approach known as open prostatectomy. The other is minimally invasive. That means it involves several small cuts and a few stitches.

    Open Prostatectomy

    There are two ways to do this traditional method:

    Radical retropubic prostatectomy. Before the surgery, youâll get medicine called anesthesia either to help you âsleepâ or to numb the lower half of your body. Then, your surgeon will make a cut from your belly button down to your pubic bone.

    If your surgeon thinks itâs possible that your prostate cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, they may remove some of these nodes and send them to a lab to check for cancer cells while youâre still under anesthesia.

    If the lab finds cancer, your surgeon might decide not to go on with the surgery. Thatâs because surgery probably wouldnât cure your cancer, and removing your prostate could bring on serious side effects.

    Radical perineal prostatectomy. For this less-common surgery, your surgeon reaches your prostate through a cut they make between your anus and scrotum. Youâll get anesthesia before the operation.

    Minimally Invasive Surgeries

    There are two minimally invasive procedures used in radical prostatectomy:

    Laparoscopic prostatectomy

    This type of prostatectomy has become more common over the years.

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    Sex After Surgery To The Prostate Gland

    When your prostate gland is removed, you will still make sperm, but it wonât come out through your penis. It will be absorbed back into the body. You may also have problems with erections or lose interest in sex after prostate surgery. Although you may feel embarrassed, doctors who deal with prostate cancer are very used to talking about these issues and will be able to give you advice. There are treatments that can help with this.

    After A Radical Prostatectomy: What To Expect

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    Answers to your questions about sex, incontinence, fertility and more

    If your medical team determines that your prostate cancer has become aggressive and needs to be treated, an operation called radical prostatectomy removal of the prostate is typically the first-line treatment. This surgery removes the prostate gland and surrounding tissues such as the seminal vesicles and sometimes nearby lymph nodes.

    Minimally invasive techniques and most commonly, robot-assisted surgery help speed recovery after radical prostatectomy, since they cause less blood loss, less pain and shorter hospital stays. At Roswell Park, 100% of radical prostatectomies are performed with robot assistance. Regardless of how the operation is performed, the potential for lingering side effects urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction must be considered as you decide on your treatment.

    The good news is that not all men experience these, says Roswell Park urologist James Mohler, MD, Associate Director and Senior Vice President, Translational Research. And for most of the men who do, these effects are temporary. Here are answers to some of the most common questions men have about recovering from radical prostatectomy.

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    How The Surgery Is Done

    Different surgical methods may be used to remove the prostate:

    • open radical prostatectomy usually done through one long cut in the lower abdomen
    • laparoscopic radical prostatectomy small surgical instruments and a camera are inserted through several small cuts in the abdomen. The surgeon performs the procedure by moving the instruments using the image on the screen for guidance
    • robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy laparoscopic surgery performed with help from a robotic system. The surgeon sits at a control panel to see a three-dimensional picture and move robotic arms that hold the instruments.

    Counseling And Psychological Evaluations

    In some cases, causes of erectile dysfunction are a combination of organic and psychological factors. For example, you could be achieving a partial erection, and since youre used to more rigid erections, it makes you insecure, and the problem gets worse over time. Counseling can be helpful in these cases.

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    Cost Of Treatment And Insurances

    At New York Urology Specialists, we offer affordable treatment for men. Our prices are low for patients without insurance and for those who have high insurance copays, high deductibles, or insurance plans that do not cover treatment costs.

    We accept many health insurance plans. We would be happy to verify your eligibility and benefits and provide you with detailed information on your health plans coverage. and credit options are available to help you pay for medical care.

    Changes In Your Sex Life

    Prostatectomy: What to Expect During Surgery and Recovery

    Most men experience some decline in erectile function after their prostate is removed, but this can be managed. It can take six months or even up to a year for the affected nerves to recover from surgery. But with proper therapy and treatment, most patients can have good erectile function again, says Dr. Fam.

    Treatment options include:

    • Counseling

    Work with your doctor to find a treatment that is right for you.

    Another change to expect in your sex life is that, because the seminal vesicles are removed during surgery, you wont ejaculate semen during orgasm.

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    How To Manage Incontinence

    As a common symptom after prostate surgery, you need to understand how to manage urinary incontinence at home. Heres a list of tips on what to do about urine leakages :Be patient: Patience is key to cope with incontinence after prostate surgery. Remember that this is a temporary situation. In the long-term, surgery solves urinary symptoms, including incontinence.

    Robotic Prostate Surgery Details

    Using the advanced surgical system, miniaturized robotic instruments are passed through several small keyhole incisions in the patients abdomen to allow the surgeon to remove the prostate and nearby tissues with great precision. This is much less invasive than a conventional radical retropubic prostatectomy, which involves an abdominal incision that extends from the belly button to the pubic bone.

    During robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy, a three-dimensional endoscope and image processing equipment are used to provide a magnified view of delicate structures surrounding the prostate gland , allowing optimal preservation of these vital structures. The prostate is eventually removed through one of the keyhole incisions.

    For most of the surgery, the surgeon is seated at a computer console and manipulates tiny wristed instruments that offer a range of motion far greater than the human wrist. The surgery is performed without the surgeons hands entering the patients body cavity.

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    Focus On The Sensation

    It has actually been found that guys with erectile dysfunction that are dealing with psychological reasons react well to methods fixated experience instead of efficiency.

    It is feasible for more information about your body and also the body of your partner over numerous sessions using sensate focus exercises. Sense focusing exercises are created to introduce you to different parts of your body and also your partners as progressively as feasible.

    The sensation of expecting brand-new things is an exceptional means to decrease anxiousness.

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    What About Problems With Urinary Continence

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    Urinary continence depends on the internal, involuntary sphincter and the voluntary striated external sphincter. The internal sphincter is removed during all forms of prostatectomy, as it is anatomically at the junction of the prostate and bladder. Performing specialized Kegel exercises after surgery to strengthen muscles enables patients to control their external sphincter and gain continence . This takes several weeks to several months. Overall, significant urinary leakage occurs in only 0.5 percent of UC Davis patients. About 15 percent of patients report mild stress incontinence.

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