Here are some frequently asked questions related to prostate removal.
Q: How long will I remain hospitalized after a prostatectomy?
A: The hospital stay for prostatectomy averages about five days and depends mostly on the nature of the surgery and the health status of the patient. In addition, a high level of patient support from others, including family, relatives, and friends, can promote the healing process and shorten the hospital stay.
Q: Will I have pain after a prostatectomy?
A: You may experience some discomfort post-operatively, especially when urinating after the Foley catheter is removed. This is temporary and usually disappears as healing progresses. If you have pain, do not hesitate to inform your nurse and doctor so that an appropriate pain medication can be administered.
Q: Will I be able to function sexually after prostate removal surgery?
A: Complications of prostatectomy include impotence and incontinence. However, your chances are still good that you will remain potent and that any incontinence will be temporary. After prostate removal, your ejaculations will be dry due to retrograde ejaculation. However, the experience of orgasm should remain unaffected and therefore enjoyable. Worrying too much about the ability to function sexually can create a psychological stumbling block that by itself can impair sexual functioning. One way to reduce the tension is to learn as much as possible about the surgical procedure and to thoroughly discuss sexual issues involving the operation with your surgeon.
Q: Will I require additional treatment after surgery for removal of the prostate gland?
A: If prostatectomy was for prostate cancer and all the cancer cells were located within the prostate gland, then your cancer is cured. However, because it sometimes is difficult to tell if cancer has spread, some men may need treatment for a recurrence of cancer. If prostatectomy was a treatment for prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia), about 10 percent of men will require additional surgery because of complications arising from the prostatectomy.
Q: Will I still be able to exercise in the gym I belong to after discharge from the hospital?
A: During the first month of recovery, the body is repairing the physical trauma caused by the surgery and the incision is also healing. For these reasons, you should refrain from physical activities that place a stress or strain on the abdominal and pelvic regions of the body. Taking it easy should avoid a possible setback from complications while healing. After this initial period of relative inactivity, you should be able to gradually resume a balanced program of aerobic and resistive physical exercise. However, you should consult with your physician before doing so.
Q: Is prostate enlargement related to prostate cancer?
A: There is no cause-and-effect relationship between prostate enlargement and prostate cancer, based on our present medical understanding. In other words, they are independent events, although both conditions may be present at the same time in one individual.