A radical retropubic prostatectomy is surgery to remove the prostate gland and some of the tissue around it. It is done to treat prostate cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate. The doctor did the surgery through a 7- to 10-centimetre cut, called an incision, in your lower belly between the navel and the pubic bone.
You may see some bruising and swelling right after your surgery. In the week after surgery, your penis and scrotum may swell. This usually gets better after 1 to 2 weeks. The incision may be sore for 1 to 2 weeks. Your doctor will give you medicine for pain.
You will have a tube (urinary catheter) to drain urine from your bladder for the first 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. You may have bladder cramps, or spasms, while the catheter is in your bladder. Your doctor can give you medicine to help prevent bladder spasms.
After your catheter is removed, it may take several weeks or more for you to control your urine. And it may take 6 months or more for you to be able to have erections again. But with time, most men regain urine control and much of their previous sexual function. If not, medicines or other treatments may help.
You will probably be able to go back to work or your usual activities 3 to 5 weeks after surgery. But it can take longer to fully recover.
You will need to see your doctor regularly. This includes having blood tests to measure your PSA level. PSA is a substance that can suggest whether your cancer has returned. PSA tests are usually done more often for the first several years after your surgery, but less often after that.
Having cancer is scary. You may feel many emotions and need some help coping. It may help to talk with your family, friends, or a therapist about your feelings. You also can do things at home to make yourself feel better while you go through treatment. Call the Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) or visit its website at www.cancer.ca for more information.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: September 19, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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