Prostate surgery recovery varies from person to person depending on how their body heals naturally and how severe the condition was prior to surgery. Here are some tips to help you through your recovery.
Prostatectomy typically requires general anesthesia and a hospital stay of 1 to 4 days. Your physician will have you walk around the day of or the day after your procedure. You may also be instructed to do little exercises while you are in the bed. All prostate cancer patients will be discharged from the hospital with a urinary catheter in place. A catheter is a thin flexible tube that is usually left in your bladder for 1 to 2 weeks to help drain your urine. Your doctor will give you specific guidelines about how to care for your catheter at home. Bladder control may be difficult for a few months after the catheter is removed. Some males will need a urinary catheter for 5 to 10 days after surgery.
Refrain from driving for 1 week after your prostate surgery. Do not drive until your catheter is removed. Also, be aware that you should not drive on prescribed pain medications unless a doctor says it’s ok. After one week, it should be safe to resume driving and begin most daily activities.
Returning to work varies on your occupation and how fast you recover. Depending on your job, you may return in 1-6 weeks. Refrain from any heavy lifting or hard physical labor for 5 to 6 weeks. Be sure to avoid vigorous activity such as; running, golf, heavy exercising, horseback riding, riding motorcycles, or bicycling for six weeks after surgery. Also, refrain from climbing stairs or sitting still in one position for more than 45 minutes. After six weeks, you may resume full activities within reason of using general common sense.
You will need to resume your activity level gradually after surgery. You will need to see your doctor several times to make sure everything is going as planned during your recovery. Most patients will see their doctors after six weeks and then again after a couple of months. You may able to resume sexual activity after fully recovering from surgery. After prostatectomy, it is common to experience an orgasm with very little to no semen. Following proper prostatectomy recovery guidelines should help regain function within 12-13 months. If you have problems or concerns, speak with your doctor to seek further assistance in your recovery.
Related: Concerned about possible prostate cancer symptoms? Learn more about treatments and SMART Prostate Robotic Surgery.