3 Things to Expect from Post-Prostatectomy

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Being diagnosed with prostate cancer is not the end of the world because, with early detection and the right treatment, one can regain good health in no time. However, a prostatectomy puts the body under a lot of stress, since this is a major surgery. The body requires adequate time to recover. Since recovery time partly depends on how well a patient is prepared psychologically, it is essential to manage expectations. If a patient does not know what to expect, then recovery might take longer. The best way to help your body return to normalcy after prostate surgery is to understand post-prostatectomy expectations.

Managing a Catheter -- Some patients believe that, right after surgery, they will be able to use the toilet like before. Nothing could be further from the truth. Usually, patients have a urinary catheter fixed in their urethra as well as a collection bag strapped to their leg. Walking around with a urine-filled bag might be a bit embarrassing to patients who are not prepared for it. However, the catheter will only be used for not much more than a week. If there is no sufficient healing, then your urologist might recommend that the catheter stay longer than a week. Notably, you should prepare to spend most of your recovery time in lose clothes to allow you operate the catheter and the collection bag comfortably.

Incontinence -- During surgery, surgeons remove the prostate, and the procedure interferes with the muscles surrounding the urethra, which partly affects how urine flows from the bladder. The result is that a patient loses their ability to control urine flow, thus leading to urine leakage, a condition known as incontinence. If the patient did not expect this, then they can try all they can to handle the situation even if it means over exercising their Kegel muscles. While Kegel exercises help patients to manage incontinence, there should be some moderation to such an activity. If the patient is made aware of the possibility of experiencing incontinence, then they stand a better chance of managing the condition through controlled Kegel exercises.

Abdominal Draining -- Prostatectomies -- specifically abdominal prostatectomy -- involve complete removal of the prostate gland as well as surrounding ducts and lymph nodes. Due to the absence of lymph nodes after the surgery, fluids might collect around the pelvic area. Abdominal draining is essential to manage the different fluids that accumulate in the region. The procedure is carried out with the help of a catheter. However, there is the possibility of being discharged with the fluids and have them removed a few days later. You should not worry because the fluids are harmless.

If you need prostate cancer surgery or any other treatment, talk with a medical professional to learn what you need to know beforehand so you can be prepared.