Prostate Specific Antigen Blood Tests
- Have a PSA blood test done at the following times:
- 6 to 8 weeks after surgery
- 3 to 6 months after surgery
- 12 months after surgery
If you can, have your PSA blood test done at a MSK location. If you cant have it done at a MSK location, you can go to a medical office closer to where you live. Have the results faxed to your MSK doctors office.
MSK doctor: ___________________________
Keeping Up With Appointments And Screenings
Attending your doctors appointments after youve entered remission is very important. If you need to skip an appointment, you should make another appointment as soon as possible.
Use these appointments as a time to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor. Your doctor can also conduct tests to check for the cancers return during these appointments.
Two tests to detect recurrent prostate cancer include a digital rectal exam and a PSA blood test. During a DRE, your doctor will insert a finger into your rectum. If your doctor detects something unusual, theyll likely ask for additional follow-up tests. These tests may include bone scans and imaging studies, such as an ultrasound or MRI.
Men often experience side effects from their prostate cancer treatments. Some of these side effects may be immediate and temporary. Others may take several weeks or months to show up and never fully disappear.
Common side effects from prostate cancer treatment include:
Getting Ready For Your Surgery
You and your care team will work together to get ready for your surgery.
Help us keep you safe during your surgery by telling us if any of the following statements apply to you, even if you arent sure.
- I take a blood thinner, such as:
About drinking alcohol
The amount of alcohol you drink can affect you during and after your surgery. Its important to talk with your healthcare providers about how much alcohol you drink. This will help us plan your care.
- If you stop drinking alcohol suddenly, it can cause seizures, delirium, and death. If we know youre at risk for these complications, we can prescribe medications to help keep them from happening.
- If you drink alcohol regularly, you may be at risk for other complications during and after your surgery. These include bleeding, infections, heart problems, and a longer hospital stay.
Here are things you can do before your surgery to keep from having problems:
If you smoke, you can have breathing problems when you have surgery. Stopping even for a few days before surgery can help. Your healthcare provider will refer you to our Tobacco Treatment Program if you smoke. You can also reach the program by calling .
About sleep apnea
Please tell us if you have sleep apnea or if you think you might have it. If you use a breathing device for sleep apnea, bring it with you the day of your surgery.
Ask about medications
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How Long Does Erectile Dysfunction Last After Prostate Surgery
Is erectile dysfunction a possibility after prostate surgery?;
Many patients are concerned about it and prefer other prostate cancer treatments.;
However, they should know that most erectile issues are temporary and improve after a while.;
These patients usually recover from this problem after a few months.;
In this article, we cover sexual function after prostate cancer surgery thoroughly, tell you how long ED can last, and how to cope with erectile problems.
If The Cancer Comes Back
If your prostate cancer comes back at some point, your treatment options will depend on where the cancer is, what types of treatment youve already had, and your health. See Treating Prostate Cancer that Doesn’t Go Away or Comes Back After Treatment. For more general information on recurrence, see;Understanding Recurrence.
Newly Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer Why Choose Robotic Prostatectomy
When first diagnosed with prostate cancer, its common for men to wonder what the future will hold. Certainly, a prostate cancer cure is a top priority, but then what?
Dr. David Samadi understands that men want to know:
Will I have sex after prostate cancer?
How will sex after prostate cancer be different?
For many men, prostate cancer treatment choice determines these answers.
If you select robotic prostate surgery your chances of enjoying sex after prostate surgery are very high. Robotic prostatectomy is a minimally invasive prostate removal. It is considered one of the best treatment options for prostate cancer due to its success rate and fast recovery rate.
The da Vinci robotic prostate cancer surgery system enables the surgeon to make precise movements. This ensures cancer-removal efficiency and sparing of the nerves and muscles that are responsible for the sexual function.
However, it is absolutely critical to choose a robotic surgeon with a high case volume and extensive prostate surgery experience. The robot does not perform the surgery and technology is no guarantee of success.
Dr. Samadi explains how the preservation of sexual function is possible:
If my only responsibility was to remove the cancerous prostate, my job would be much easier, he acknowledges, But patients deserve much more than that. It was paramount that I find a way to remove the prostate gland without damaging functions critical to a comfortable and enjoyable life after recovery.
How To Return To An Active Sex Life After Prostate Cancer Treatment
No matter the cancer, treatments often cause side effects that affect patients quality of life. But with prostate cancer, the potential side effects can be particularly concerning to men who are trying to decide which approach is right for them. Surgery, radiation therapy and other treatments may impact a patients sex life, causing challenges like low sex drive, loss of penis length, dry orgasm or low sperm counts. Despite the angst these issues may cause, experts say most of these side effects can be managed and many men have a good chance of returning to a full sex life after prostate cancer treatment.
Unfortunately, sexual dysfunction is a possibility for nearly all treatment options for prostate cancer, including surgery, says Scott Shelfo, MD, FACS, Medical Director of Urology at our hospital near Atlanta.;The degree of dysfunction depends on many factors, including the patients overall health, co-existing medical problems, as well as the patients level of sexual function and ability before treatment.
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What You Need To Know About Your Recovery Period
Following your prostate laser surgery, your surgeon will give you a few essential guidelines. Those guidelines will include taking medications we’re mainly talking about antibiotics here exactly as prescribed, and finishing the full course. Though bleeding from your urethra is only to be expected after your procedure, and this bleeding may continue for several days to even several weeks, you’ll also receive instructions on when to come back in. Bleeding that gets worse rather than better, passing clots, and blood that is very thick are all situations that warrant a timely follow-up visit.;
Besides those instructions, your surgeon will tell you to take it easy after your surgery, for a set amount of time depending on the exact form of prostate laser surgery you underwent. Yep, that means sitting on the couch or lying in bed reading newspapers or browsing the web, not engaging in exercise, heavy lifting, marathons, or sexual intercourse!;
Following these instructions will contribute to a timely recovery and prevent complications. If, however, you have done something your surgeon told you not to do, and especially if you are experiencing more pain and discomfort after that act, you do need to immediately check in with your surgeon… and then listen to their further advice!;
About Your Prostate Surgery
A radical prostatectomy is a surgery to remove your entire prostate gland and seminal vesicles. Some of the lymph nodes in your pelvis are removed as well. This is done to prevent cancer from spreading from your prostate to other parts of your body.
A radical prostatectomy can be done in 1 of 2 ways. One way is through an open incision , which is called an open prostatectomy. Another way is to use a laparoscope, which is a tube-like instrument with a camera. Your surgeon will talk with you about the best surgery option for you.
In an open prostatectomy, your surgeon will make an incision that goes from your pubic bone towards your belly button . Theyll remove the pelvic lymph nodes first, followed by the prostate gland, and then the structures next to it.
Figure 2. Open prostatectomy incisions
Laparoscopic or robotic-assisted prostatectomy
During a laparoscopic or robotic-assisted prostatectomy, your surgeon will make several small incisions in your abdomen . Theyll insert a laparoscope into 1 of the incisions and use gas to expand your abdomen. Surgical instruments will be inserted into the other incisions to remove the prostate. Some surgeons at MSK are specially trained to use a robotic device to assist with this procedure.
Figure 3. Laparoscopic or robotic-assisted prostatectomy incisions
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Urinary Problems After Surgery
Most men cant control their bladder properly when their catheter is first removed. This is because surgery can damage the muscles and nerves that control when you urinate.You might just leak a few drops if you exercise, cough or sneeze . Or you might leak more and need to wear absorbent pads, especially in the weeks after your surgery.Leaking urine usually improves with time. Most men start to see an improvement one to six months after surgery. Some men leak urine for a year or more and others never fully recover, but there are;things that can help;and;ways you can manage it.
A few men may find it difficult to urinate after surgery . This can be caused by scarring around the opening of the bladder or the urethra .Some men find they suddenly and painfully cant urinate. This is called acute urine retention and it needs treating quickly to prevent further problems. If this happens, call your doctor or nurse, or go to your nearest accident and emergency department.
Watch;Paul’s story for one man’s experience of managing urinary problems after surgery below.
Sexual problems after surgery
Change in penis size and shape
Changes to orgasm
The seminal vesicles, which make some of the fluid in semen, are removed during surgery. This means you wont ejaculate any more. You may have a dry orgasm instead where you feel the sensation of orgasm but dont ejaculate. This may feel different to the orgasms youre used to.
Are There Differences Between Orp Lrp And Ralrp
According to a 2010 of different surgery types for prostate cancer, the outcomes for open radical prostatectomy , laparoscopic , and robotic-assisted prostatectomy are not significantly different.
But people who choose LRP and RALRP may experience:
- less blood loss
- shorter hospital stay
- faster recovery time
Also, people who choose RALRP report faster recovery in continence and decreased hospital stay, in comparison to LRP. But the overall outcomes still depend on the surgeons experience and skill.
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Doctor Visits And Tests
Your doctor visits will usually include PSA blood tests, possibly with digital rectal exams if your prostate hasnt been removed. These will probably begin within a few months of finishing treatment. How often you need follow-up visits and tests might depend to some extent on the stage of your cancer and the chance of it coming back. Most doctors recommend PSA tests about every 6 months or so for the first 5 years after treatment, and at least yearly after that. Bone scans or other imaging tests might also be done, depending on your medical situation and symptoms.
Prostate cancer can recur even many years after treatment, which is why its important to keep regular doctor visits and report any new symptoms .
What Other Tests Do I Need
After prostatectomy, youll probably have a PSA test in about six weeks or so. Your doctor will recommend a follow-up schedule, usually every three months for two years. Depending on the results, you may need to test once or twice a year thereafter. Testing may be more frequent if it appears to be rising.
If your PSA levels are high and you have symptoms such as bone pain, imaging tests can be used to determine if cancer has spread. These may include bone scans and CT scans. If a mass is found, a biopsy can determine if its cancerous.
You might not need treatment right away. If youve had multiple PSA tests and it appears that your PSA level is rising, a number of other factors determine the next steps. These factors include:
- age and life expectancy
- if cancer has spread and where
- previous treatments
Radiation therapy after prostatectomy, also known as salvage radiotherapy, can be quite effective after a prostatectomy. External beam radiation can be delivered directly to the area around where the prostate was. The goal is to destroy prostate cells that may have been left behind after surgery. This lowers the risk of recurrence and metastasis, or of the cancer spreading.
Metastatic prostate cancer may not be curable, but there are treatments to slow progression and manage symptoms. Treatments may include:
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Things You Should Expect After Prostate Surgery
Prostate removal is a major type of surgery and requires time for the body to recover. Even though robotic prostatectomy using the Da Vinci robot has less severe effects on the body and the patient can leave the hospital the same day, men should expect some changes in order to know how to deal with them. The surgery is performed through small incisions that are barely sensitive at the incision sites and the scar tissue is almost unnoticeable. Typically, the recovery is fast, most men are able to go home the next day and resume driving and working in two to three weeks after the surgery.
In the immediate hours after surgery:
What Are The Types Of Radiation Therapy Used For Prostate Cancer
Radiationtherapy for prostate cancer can be divided into two main categories.
Externalbeam radiation :Using a machine outside the body, beams of radiation are focused on theprostate gland. This can help relieve symptoms such as pain while limiting thedamage to the tissues surrounding the prostate.
The 4methods of external beam radiation are:
- Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy
- Stereotactic body radiation therapy
- Proton beam radiation therapy
Brachytherapy:Small radioactive pellets are inserted into the prostate, each one about thesize of a grain of rice. About 100 pellets are used to limit the damage tosurrounding tissues and organs. Brachytherapy is most often used forearly-stage cases and is sometimes combined with EBRT. The pellets can eitherbe inserted for a couple of days for high dosages or a few months for lowdosage depending on the patients overall status.
Day Before Your Surgery
Follow a light diet
Follow a light diet, such as a small sandwich, eggs, toast, crackers, or soup. Limit the amount of dairy products you eat and drink, and avoid fried foods and foods with a lot of seasoning.
Note the time of your surgery
A staff member from the Admitting Office will call you after 2:00 pm the day before your surgery. If your surgery is scheduled for a Monday, theyll call you on the Friday before. If you dont get a call by 7:00 pm, call .
The staff member will tell you what time to arrive at the hospital for your surgery. Theyll also remind you where to go.
Do your bowel preparation
The night before your surgery, use a saline enema as instructed on the box.
Shower with a 4% CHG solution antiseptic skin cleanser
The night before your surgery, shower using a 4% CHG solution antiseptic skin cleanser.
What Can I Expect Before And After Robotic Prostatectomy
If after consulting with Dr. Engel, becoming educated on the topic of prostate cancer, potentially seeking other opinions, and being presented all options, a patient opts for robotic prostatectomy, he will then be taken extensively through what to expect. Dr. Engel currently performs robotic surgery exclusively at George Washington University Hospital, and a date and time will be scheduled for surgery there. The patient will generally be urged to see his internist for a pre-operative physical, although this can also be accomplished at the hospital itself. Tests to rule out spread of cancer such as a bone scan and CT scan, looking for spread to bones and lymph nodes, may be performed in higher risk cases. The patient will be given detailed instructions regarding a bowel preparation regimen and the patient must follow this strictly. The purpose of the bowel prep is not only to create more space in the abdomen, but also for safety in the very unlikely event that there is an inadvertent injury to the intestine or rectum during the surgery. If this occurs, a bowel prep will likely keep this from being a life threatening problem.
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