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Thread: What I Need to Know About Da Vinci surgery

  1. #21
    I would say in the next month try to be strong and as positive as you can be. I tried to be very positive and it seemed to rub off on my wife who has been a rock star through my ordeal. After surgery, let your husband adjust at his own pace. My wife has been relentless about making sure I didn't lift over 10 pounds. She called herself my traveling nurse and has been supportive in my efforts to regain urinary control (think pee all over the place). The surgery is three hours and you're home the following day but the recovery takes a long time. If your husband and yourself are like the rest of us, you want it to be over faster. Be patient! This forum has been immensely informative to me and many, many others I'm sure. Keep reading and posting and you and your husband will be much more at ease both before and after surgery. Good luck to you both!
    Fran
    BD 1950
    DRE in 2005 showed right lobe enlarged/hard
    Biopsies in 2006 and 2009 both negative
    Biopsy May 2013 positive 1 of 14 cores
    4+3=7 T2a. PSA 2.9
    daVinci surgery 7/17/13 by Dr. Dennis LaRock
    Final pathology 7/29/13
    Tumor size 1.5 cm
    PC found on both lobes (biopsy indicated one)
    T2b Gleason 4+3=7
    Negative margins
    first post surgery psa 8/30/13 undetectable
    second post surgery psa 11/23/13 undetectable
    18 month post surgery psa 2/17/15 undetectable
    5 year post surgery psa 3/20/18 undetectable

  2. #22
    Moderator Top User HighlanderCFH's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    7,235
    Hi there,

    Sorry he had to join The Club, but glad you found us here.

    Can you give us his stats, such as:
    age
    PSA history
    number of positive biopsy cores
    Gleason scores for each core
    percentage of involvement in each positive core
    staging of the disease

    This will help us understand his situation better. You're already starting off well, though, in the fact the surgery is recommended -- because surgery is usually an option for cases where a cure is anticipated.

    You and your husband may want to do a bit of shopping, if necessary, for 2-3 pairs of VERY loose fitting pants -- the type where there is plenty of room in the upper thigh area for when he goes out in public with his catheter bag for the first week or so after surgery. Buying some pads will also be a good idea for a period of time after the catheter is removed. I bought a whole package of the darn things -- but only needed a few of them. Almost 2 years later, the almost full package is still sitting in my drawer. LOL

    You might also plan on him sleeping comfortably on a reclining chair for the first few nights at home. Much more comfortable and easier to get up with the recliner helping with this. He might also want to have a soft cushion to carry around for sitting on hard chairs -- a bit sore there for the first 2-3 weeks.

    Keep in mind, however, that there really is NOTHING painful that he will go through. I only used Extra Strength Tylenol after the initial pain relievers wore off from surgery. Probably did not even need them, but family members urged me to not try to "be a man" by not taking anything -- so I settled for the Tylenol and had no pain at all.

    Also, in case he is apprehensive, there is NO pain at all in having the catheter tube inside of him. Much like an IV needle, it simply occupies the same space at the same time, but not in a painful way. No pain either when the catheter is removed and I felt nothing at all when the drainage tube was removed from my abdomen the day after surgery.

    Stay tuned for lots more advice, thoughts & input from other members here.

    Good luck to him!
    Chuck
    July 2011 local PSA lab reading 6.41 (from 4.1 in 2009). Mayo Clinic PSA 9/ 2011 = 5.7.
    Local uro DRE revealed significant BPH, no lumps.
    PCa Dx Aug. 2011 age of 61.
    Biopsy DXd adenocarcinoma in 3/20 cores (one 5%, two 20%). T2C.
    Gleason 3+3=6. CT abdomen, bone scan negative.
    DaVinci prostatectomy 11/1/11 at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), nerve sparing, age 62.
    Surgeon was Dr. Matthew Tollefson, who I highly recommend.
    Final pathology shows tumor confined to prostate.
    5 lymph nodes, seminal vesicules, extraprostatic soft tissue all negative.
    1.0 x 0.6 x 0.6 cm mass involving right posterior inferior, right posterior apex & left
    mid posterior prostate. Right posterior apex margin involved by tumor over 0.2 cm length,
    doctor says this is insignificant.
    Prostate 98 grams, tumor 2 grams.
    Catheter out in 7 days. No incontinence, minor dripping for a few weeks.
    Eight annual post-op exams 2012 through 2019: PSA <0.1
    Semi-firm erections without "training wheels," usable erections with 100mg Sildenafil.
    NOTE: ED caused by BPH, not the surgery.

  3. #23
    Some questions to ask before choosing your Surgeon:

    • Obviously... how many have you done (should be >400 or even >1200)
    • Will the surgery be nerve sparing (if possible)
    • What percentage of your patients are "dry" after 3 months/1 year
    • What is your definition of "dry"? 1 pad per day? No pads?
    • Will you be sparing the internal sphincter muscle? How? By using the Rocco Stitch?

    GREAT List of Surgeons here:
    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...l-Surgeon-List

    Also, check out these threads:

    http://www.healingwell.com/community...f=35&m=1717641
    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...015#post191015

    There are lots of info and threads on this, but I thought I would sort of collect them here as well...
    Last edited by ddayglo; 11-30-2013 at 02:35 AM.
    BD: 1959 PSA 4.9 11/2012 (no symptoms)
    Biopsy 12/2012 Negative
    PSA 5.9 05/2013 (still no symptoms)
    Biopsy 6/2013 3+4 (thank goodness for PSA tests)
    1 core positive (upper left), 1 suspicious (lower left) out of 12
    DRE: bump right side T1c; PCA-III = 20 (normal)

    Da Vinci 7/18/2013: Invasive carcinoma involves left lobe of prostate only, extends from left apex to posterior mid region of left lobe Gleason 7/10 (4+3); G4 tumor comprises 75% of invasive carcinoma present
    Estimated total volume of carcinoma in entire prostate gland: 10%
    TNM: T2b NX MX (Stage IIA)

    8/13 11/13 2/14 8/14 2/15 8/15 3/16, 8/16, 3/17,9/17,4/18, 9/18 PSA undetectable
    3/19: .1 (damn), 4/19,6/29 retests: .1 (damn)


    My Story:
    T-Minus-36-Hours-until-da-Vinci...
    Catheter is Out!

  4. #24
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    101

    What I wish I knew before my Da Vinci surgery

    Here are my observations and suggestions for the first weeks:
    1. Read Walsh’s book and refer back to it often as you move through your recovery
    2. Get chap stick for dehydrated lips – ice chips won’t hydrate you
    3. Get lozenges for sore throat
    4. Get seat cushion with cutout in the middle for the ride home and sitting in chairs for the first couple of weeks
    5. Get a recliner. Sitting upright is uncomfortable. Getting in and out of bed is difficult the first couple of days.
    6. Use a pad like they have in the hospital to sit on instead of wearing diapers during the first week. Diapers tend to make you sweat which leads to jock itch. Graduate to just a pad in your underwear as soon as you can. I started with a pad in the diaper to get a sense of how wet I was.
    7. Use antibacterial soap during your daily shower.
    8. Bloated stomach was like having a basketball under skin. This is different from passing gas. Could only eat very small portions and usually had indigestion. While I walked an hour a day, I broke it up into 20 minutes segments. This was a mistake that no one told me about. Within a week of walking for a continuous hour each day I started to feel better.
    9. Passing gas starts first day or so. It creates pretty intense gas pains as you feel it work its way through your system. While it will make for pretty bad sleeping conditions, it only means you are getting closer to eating real food.
    10. Real food and stool softeners lead to loose bowel movements and make for an irritated butt, so get Preparation H wet wipes to help sooth it.
    11. Kiegel exercises before and after surgery are really important. I still do them 10 months later.
    12. No caffeine or alcohol until you regain urinary continence and feel comfortable with your reconstructed self. Hot chocolate or decaff coffee or tea in the morning worked great for me in assisting with bowel movements. Sometimes I went with prune juice but weaned myself off of it as soon as I could because of the taste.
    13. If you have to flex your stomach muscles to help with your urine flow after the catheter is removed get your doc to check you out. You could have scar tissue buildup. The cure is self-catheterization to keep everything flowing. At first it seems a lot worse than it is. Ben there, done that!
    14. I still use a monthly calendar on which I can write salient information about peeing, pads, pooping, medications, sex, etc. It’s an excellent way to track events and gives you a sense of perspective, especially when you want to see how you are improving.
    15. You will improve.
    Age 63, DRE Normal, Dr. Tewari; 1/11, PSA 6.96, Free PSA 20%, PCA3 74.5, MRI mild capsule irregularity; 2/11 Biopsy - 49 cores; Gleason 6, 2% in 1/3 cores; Gleason 6, 5% in 1/3 cores; Active Surveillance, Grandfather, Father, Brother have PC, Genetic Testing negative; 7/11, PSA 7.89, Free PSA 14%, PCA3 127.8; 8/11, MRI - no change; 10/11, PSA 7.4, PCA3 24.1, Biopsy - 52 cores; right lateral mid: Gleason 6, 5% in 1/3 cores; 5/12, PSA 10.77, Free PSA 8%, PCA3 41.6, MRI irregularity less apparent; 7/12 PSA 11.25, Ultrasound; 10/12 MRI No change, PSA 10.09, Free PSA 9%, PCA3 284; 12/12 Robotic Surgery (pTNM): pT2c: Bilateral disease, organ confined, 10% of prostate, Gleason 7(3+4), with microscopic mucinous change and focal intraductal extension, margins negative; Intercourse able @ 7 months; stopped [email protected] 11 months & reduced Cialis to 5mg + Viagra; 12 months only Viagra; 2 ˝ years only need ˝ Viagra; 5 years (2)20mg Sildenafil, PSA 3/18<.006

  5. #25
    From Gsteve and others:
    • Your "Boys" may be discolored or even "Blue" after the surgery. May last a few weeks
    • A bit of blood and urine may leak out at the catheter entry
    • Polysporin (or other ointment) is your friend. Don't wait for it to start to bother you. Put some ointment on your "little buddy" at least everyday. He's been through a lot and needs some TLC
    • Some people have reported seeing some clots and bits of suture in your urine.
    BD: 1959 PSA 4.9 11/2012 (no symptoms)
    Biopsy 12/2012 Negative
    PSA 5.9 05/2013 (still no symptoms)
    Biopsy 6/2013 3+4 (thank goodness for PSA tests)
    1 core positive (upper left), 1 suspicious (lower left) out of 12
    DRE: bump right side T1c; PCA-III = 20 (normal)

    Da Vinci 7/18/2013: Invasive carcinoma involves left lobe of prostate only, extends from left apex to posterior mid region of left lobe Gleason 7/10 (4+3); G4 tumor comprises 75% of invasive carcinoma present
    Estimated total volume of carcinoma in entire prostate gland: 10%
    TNM: T2b NX MX (Stage IIA)

    8/13 11/13 2/14 8/14 2/15 8/15 3/16, 8/16, 3/17,9/17,4/18, 9/18 PSA undetectable
    3/19: .1 (damn), 4/19,6/29 retests: .1 (damn)


    My Story:
    T-Minus-36-Hours-until-da-Vinci...
    Catheter is Out!

  6. #26
    Senior User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    253
    - have a rob and something like a long shoe,lace around your neck to hang the big bag from.
    - get a small bottle,of spray alcohol for cleaning cath inserts. Much easier than those tiny pads they give yo
    - eat and drink very healthy including vitamins before and after surgery
    - try to wear snug underwear , I didn't and my scrotom got very swollen and painful. It's about the only real pain I've had
    - getting into bed the first five days is hard. Try to use your side and back muscles.
    - you will prob have red urine for up to six weeks.
    - when you sit on the toilet blood will come out around the catheter entry. That was a surprise
    - eat lots of fiber. Day ten and I get once a day a gas pain like no other. Sipping water continually helps
    - when you change from large to leg bag. Pinch off the blue hose so,nothing comes out as you hook up the new bag
    - feel free to shorten the leg bag hose to the right length. Mine was good for someone 6'10"
    - if you can. Arrange to do nothing for 7-10 days.

  7. #27
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    71
    Ok, wife here. Can I make copies of this thread to share with DH? He's never been on a msg board, but I surely have!
    Question for you guys. Can he do stairs? We live in a split level (7 up, and 7 down) Our home is very open on the first floor, and we have two adult kids at home still, and I know he will want his 'privacy' to rest, etc. I told him tonight that he has to decide if he's going to be upstairs in bedroom or downstairs in his man cave. We need to do some moving of recliner and TV and I'm not doing it at the last minute!

    Also, how long did you guys need help. Not sure how long I need to take off of work. I had surgery twice a few years ago, female stuff...and I only needed him around for 2 days. Lounged around after that and walked outside healing up.

    I need to buy him bvd's and more loungewear. I will go up a size I reckon.
    Wife of hubby age-60, physical in July, '13
    DRE normal, psa elevated, off to uroligist
    6 of 12 positive cores (aug 2013)
    4+4 gs, in two cores, bilateral
    psa 5.2 (July 2013)
    psa 3.1 (Jan. 2012)
    psa 2.3 (2011)
    psa 2.0 (2010)
    psa 1.8 (2009)
    psa 1.6 (2008
    T1c, bone scan & MRI clear
    Family hist. (dad & unc.)
    RALP 10/30/13
    Post surgery upgraded to GS 9. (10% of gland-5)
    Early invasion of left seminal vesicle
    PT3b upgraded
    Radiation 6 mts after surgery. Done.

  8. #28
    I had no problem with stairs. Getting in and out of bed was difficult at first but you can develop a routine to roll out and minimize the discomfort. Everyone heals a little differently, but I would think you could get back to work in three days +\- depending on how independent your hubby is.
    Godd luck to you both.
    Fran
    BD 1950
    DRE in 2005 showed right lobe enlarged/hard
    Biopsies in 2006 and 2009 both negative
    Biopsy May 2013 positive 1 of 14 cores
    4+3=7 T2a. PSA 2.9
    daVinci surgery 7/17/13 by Dr. Dennis LaRock
    Final pathology 7/29/13
    Tumor size 1.5 cm
    PC found on both lobes (biopsy indicated one)
    T2b Gleason 4+3=7
    Negative margins
    first post surgery psa 8/30/13 undetectable
    second post surgery psa 11/23/13 undetectable
    18 month post surgery psa 2/17/15 undetectable
    5 year post surgery psa 3/20/18 undetectable

  9. #29
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    101
    Stairs were not a problem. Getting into and out of bed was a little rough the first 4 or 5 days. Having someone to help pull you up to get out of bed and to lower you down to go to bed helped. Sweat pants worked fine. I used to run the catheter tube down the pants leg and just used the overnight bag until it was time to go back to the doc in 6 days to get it out. Walking for an hour each day is really important. Do it in one workout. I went around the dining room table and into other rooms and hallway. You can put the catheter bag into a shopping bag and do your walk outside in the nice weather.

    It was nice having someone around the first week to prepare food. If you can take the time off, I'm sure he'd appreciate it.
    Age 63, DRE Normal, Dr. Tewari; 1/11, PSA 6.96, Free PSA 20%, PCA3 74.5, MRI mild capsule irregularity; 2/11 Biopsy - 49 cores; Gleason 6, 2% in 1/3 cores; Gleason 6, 5% in 1/3 cores; Active Surveillance, Grandfather, Father, Brother have PC, Genetic Testing negative; 7/11, PSA 7.89, Free PSA 14%, PCA3 127.8; 8/11, MRI - no change; 10/11, PSA 7.4, PCA3 24.1, Biopsy - 52 cores; right lateral mid: Gleason 6, 5% in 1/3 cores; 5/12, PSA 10.77, Free PSA 8%, PCA3 41.6, MRI irregularity less apparent; 7/12 PSA 11.25, Ultrasound; 10/12 MRI No change, PSA 10.09, Free PSA 9%, PCA3 284; 12/12 Robotic Surgery (pTNM): pT2c: Bilateral disease, organ confined, 10% of prostate, Gleason 7(3+4), with microscopic mucinous change and focal intraductal extension, margins negative; Intercourse able @ 7 months; stopped [email protected] 11 months & reduced Cialis to 5mg + Viagra; 12 months only Viagra; 2 ˝ years only need ˝ Viagra; 5 years (2)20mg Sildenafil, PSA 3/18<.006

  10. #30
    Regular User mariod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    15
    Leaking out from around the catheter is ok and normal, it has something to do with your bladder having spasms. I called 911 when I first noticed it!!!!!felt so silly....do not worry when they remove the catheter it DOES NOT hurt, I was frozen with fear but what a relief it was to gently feel it come out, finally my penis was free again.....
    PSA : 4 in may 2011, 11 in december 2012
    Biopsy results February 1st 2013
    16 samples taken 2 positive at 5%
    Gleason 3+3
    Refused Watchful Waiting (thats what we call it in Canada)
    Radical prostatectomy August 15th 2013

 

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