Prostatectomy- hints and tips

Dear all 

great relief to see there is an under 50’s threat 

I am devoted wife of 48 year old  just diagnosed. Stage T3a. Gleeson 7 (3+4) boarderline 8 (4+4) high cribriform seen and nerve invasion.  Luckily no metastasis. Such a shock. PSA of 12.5 picked up in routine gp blood test. No family history and first visit to GP in 15 years  

Radical prostatectomy next Thursday. 

Any practical hints or tips for first few weeks post surgery.  Do you need pads during first week or is that after catheter is removed.  I heard you shouldn’t even lift a kettle for first few weeks. How quickly did you feel like going for a walk to get fresh air? We’re you in a lot of pain? Is night shirt best (to avoid things pressing on tummy / wounds) or just pyjamas?

any tips from those who have had radical prostatectomy very welcome  

many thanks  


  •  Hi Wigs

         Its quite a difficult question to answer as l believe many people's recovery differs for different reasons what l can say is age (48) is on your husbands side. l was 58 at time of surgery (2020) travelled from North east to London for surgery Fri operation Sat and travelled back Sun (via train) l spent Sunday and Monday resting and returned to office Tue PM from then on in l built up my working week from 2-3 hours a day to normal working over the course of 1-2 weeks (desk  job)  

        This is not to say everyone reacts the same merely my experience obviously there was inherent problems (catheter in place for 8 days) Tips Use pain relief when required. Daily blood thinning injections change areas (stomach, thigh etc ) to stop sore spots, always wear the compression tights (helps stop blood clotting). Use laxatives as per recommendations as to your question on pads  they are only used post catheter removal (you can buy different level tena pads light for during the day and heavy for during the night) but again l stress each persons incontinence will be different.

        Personally l would recommend exercise and fresh air but again l am sure your hubbys body will tell him 


  • Hi Wiggers,

    I hope the operation goes well for your hubby. The hospital will give him post op information. It is important not to lift anything heavier than a kettle for a few weeks. The surgeons cut through a lot of material to get to the prostate so give it time to start healing. I found sitting at an angle in a recliner easier than sitting up as you are tender in the nether regions after the op. A stand or a bucket to put the night catheter bag in will help. It’s amazing how much is in the bag after a nights sleep! The tip of the penis can get tender with the catheter moving so it’s important to set the leg straps in the right place. Laxative to help the bowel get going again as it’s very important not to strain.

    All that said I was 55 when I had the op and recovery was steady and without major problems. I had a rose wine coloured liquid in the night bag 9 or 10 nights after the op which is apparently quite normal due to scabs breaking off during healing. Continuous bleeding needs to be checked though.

    After the catheter comes out he will leak and need pads for a time. Everyone is different, I was dry at night from day one of catheter removal but leaked when walking during the day. It settles as you relearn how to control things.

    Hope this helps. 


  • Hi

    I took in a good pair of headphones to listen to the radio and block out any other noise. Also one of those eye mask whatsits. And some food. Crackers and Oxo cubes.

    I spent the first few days in bed feeling very sore and very sorry for myself. Getting up from the prone postion was quite an effort. Eventually though I graduated to the living room settee watching a few box sets and feeling quite pleased with myself.

    Keep the wounds clean. And look for any sign of urinary infection in the catheter bag. And don't spoil the bugger.

  • I have mine done a years ago on the robot - and today all great  - most important  tip walk everyday  - keep moving 

    He will have catheter for 2 weeks  no one need to think pads  for 2 weeks 

    be careful with the mind set because you only have a few little scars you can sometimes believe you have not had major surgery !

    For me no pain  -  after 10  weeks I was  running  - 12 weeks cycling - I  am 60 years  old 

  • Can I just say thank you to the original poster about post radical prostatectomy issues - exactly what I was going to ask as a wife whose husband has surgery on 20 December.  Thank you. As the date was advised by phone we have not had specific info yet and I wanted to get started on preparation so I can help as much as I can with recovery. I understand that everyone's post surgery experience may be different so getting others views really does help.

    If anyone else has input post robotic surgery we will be so grateful. Thanks again.

  • Is it normal to feel suicidal when you first get told of the radical surgery 

  • No it brings great hope in that the cancer hopefully will be removed    - we all can help can you share a little of your story with us 

    The fact you have been told means you are  now on a pathway 

  • Well for me it’s a death sentence I feel. It’s as though the radical surgery means I’m no longer a masculine man. So I see suicide as the best way forward but didn’t know if that was mental health or a side affect of radical surgery 

  • I had RP in 2012 and have been fully functioning from 8 months post op. 

    I think talking to Maggies or McMillan helpline might help you at this stage. 


  • I can understands the man functioning thing it is important and you do need a bit of luck and age on your side but - hand on heart like Dave about me also fully functioning and i am 60  - I have a few contacts and without them going into too much personal details  they are also still enjoying  themselves !! - Some with a little help of Viagra or Cialis (a wonderful drug!)  And from reading the different articles on the internet all is very much not lost