Post Op Instructions for a Prostatectomy

November 12, 2012

Post Op Instructions for a Prostatectomy

Following any and all post op instructions provided by your medical professional is important to ensuring successful and complication-free recovery.

With today’s medical advancements, it is now possible for many patients to leave the hospital about one day after their surgery. When patients are discharged, they will be provided with post op instructions in order to reduce the need of a person coming back to the hospital for avoidable healing complications. People recently having surgery will not be cleared to drive at discharge so make sure that a ride of some sort will be available to take you home. You will have a catheter in place at the time you leave which is necessary for proper urinary voiding. While you may be tempted to remove it on your own, leave it in place until it is deemed unnecessary by your health provider.

Wound and Catheter Care

Some of the most important post op instructions you receive will help you understand what to do with your wound dressing and catheter. It is not uncommon to experience a slight degree of pain after surgery. Over the counter pain medications such as Tylenol are normally strong enough to keep the pain under control. If for some reason you find the pain to be significant, contact your doctor about using a stronger medication. The covering over your wound can be removed after two days. At this point in time, you can begin showering again. Do not rub or irritate the staples over the wound. They will be removed at the same time as the catheter. It is normal for small amounts of blood or clear fluid to be leaking from the wound. If the wound site experiences anything more than this small leakage should be reported to the doctor.

The Foley catheter must stay in place at all times. Accidently removal should result in an immediate doctor’s visit. It keeps your urine draining correctly and the tubing can be comfortably adjusted around your leg with a strap. In order to reduce discomfort and inflammation around the tip of the penis, antibiotic cream can be applied to this area. In general, the catheter will only stay in place for about a week and will be removed at the time your doctor thinks you have adequately healed.

Regaining Normal Functions

This is the ultimate goal of anyone recovering from a surgery. Follow your post op instructions closely in order to ensure that you safely regain your normal functioning as quickly as possible.

  • Eating – Start off with a liquid diet until you have your first bowel movement. Once this has occurred, begin eating soft foods such as eggs and slowly add foods until you are back to your normal diet.

  • Urinating – Getting back urinary control after the catheter is removed varies from man to man. It can take anywhere from a week to a few months so be sure to use some sort of urinary pad until full control has been recovered.

  • Sexual activity – The nerves which make it possible to get an erection may or may not have been affected by the surgery. While it may take some time to get an erection again, it is not impossible and other options are available to men continuing to have problems. Also remember that while having a climax is still possible, there will be no fluid discharged during ejaculation.

Possible Post Operation Side Effects

As with any type of surgery, there are always common side effects which should not cause you great concern. The post op instructions provided to you will include any warning signs to look out for which may require a visit back to your healthcare provider. Some common situations include:

  • Bloody urine or drainage from the catheter- This is common if you have recently participated in some sort of physical activity or had a bowel movement. It should clear up in a short amount of time but an absence of urine for greater than two hours indicates a more serious issue.

  • Port site bruising – Bruising will heal with time.

  • Pain or discomfort between the scrotum and rectum area- This pain is not uncommon for a few weeks after surgery. Consider drinking lots of water and increasing dietary fiber to help relieve discomfort.

  • Bruising or swelling of the penis – This type of problem will normally clear up in about a week after surgery.

  • Bloating and constipation – Treat the problem with prune juice and stool softeners.

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