You had surgery to remove all of your prostate, some tissue near your prostate, and probably some lymph nodes. This was done to treat prostate cancer.
You may be tired and need more rest for 3 to 4 weeks after you go home. You may have pain or discomfort in your belly or the area between your scrotum and anus for 2 to 3 weeks.
You will go home with a catheter (tube) to drain urine from your bladder. This will be removed after 1 to 3 weeks.
Change the dressing over your surgical wound once a day, or sooner if it becomes soiled. Your doctor will tell you when you do not need to keep your wound covered. Keep the wound area clean by washing it with mild soap and water.
Your scrotum may be swollen for 2 to 3 weeks. You may need to wear either a support or brief underwear until the swelling goes away. While you are in bed, you may use a towel below your scrotum for support.
You may have a drain (called a Jackson-Pratt, or JP drain) below your belly button that helps extra fluid leak from your body. Your doctor will take it out after 1 to 3 days.
While you have a urinary catheter:
After your catheter is removed:
Do NOT drive the first 3 weeks after you come home. Avoid long car trips if you can. If you need to take a long car trip, stop at least every 2 hours.
Do NOT lift anything heavier than a 1-gallon milk jug for the first 6 weeks. You can slowly work back up to your normal exercise routine after that. You can do everyday activities around the house if you feel up to it. But expect to get tired more easily.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and take stool softeners to prevent constipation. Do NOT strain during bowel movements.
Do NOT take aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), or other similar medicines for 2 weeks after your surgery. They may cause problems with blood clots.
Sexual problems you may notice are:
These problems may get better or even go away, but it may take many months or more than a year. The lack of an ejaculate (semen coming out with orgasm) will be permanent. Ask your doctor about medicines that will help.
Call your doctor or nurse if:
While you have a urinary catheter, call your doctor if:
Prostatectomy - radical - discharge; Radical retropubic prostatectomy - discharge; Radical perineal prostatectomy - discharge; Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy - discharge; LRP - discharge; Robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy - discharge ; RALP - discharge; Pelvic lymphadenectomy - discharge
Smith JA, Su L. Laparoscopic and robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 103.
Schaeffer EM, Partin AW, Lepor H. Radical retropubic and perineal prostatectomy. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 102.
Updated by: Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Chief of Urology, Cambridge Health Alliance, Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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