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RP at 56, how long before most return to work?

Posted 27 Oct 2017 at 22:30

My partner was diagnosed fours years ago , but felt he had had enough of active surveillance and had a RP this week.  He had been to our local support group and at 56 was by far the youngest man there.  Various doctors have said he is young to have this operation and that he may find the side effects difficult to cope with . He had major ED problems before surgery so that is something that we have become used to. But the incontinence terrifies him and he worries he won't be able to return to work.  I was wondering how other men still of working age have got on?

Posted 28 Oct 2017 at 00:31

Sadly Gilly, your OH is of average age when you look at members on here - many like my husband were around 50 at diagnosis and we have more & more men being diagnosed in their early to mid 40s. Anecdotally, younger men are more likely to have the op and older men are more likely to have radiotherapy so it sounds like the doctors you have spoken to are a bit behind the times! .

Return to work rather depends on what kind of job he does and whether he had open RP or keyhole or robotic RP? With keyhole / robotic, many are back at work as soon as they are allowed to drive (insurers vary but many will not cover you until 6 weeks post op). My husband had open RP and could have been back in the office around week 10 except his insurer wouldn't cover him to drive until 12 weeks post-op.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
Posted 28 Oct 2017 at 08:17

I had the Da Vinci robotic assisted surgery and was back at work after 4 weeks,some might say that was too early, the NHS info for RARP said back at work in 2 to 6 weeks, but it's not a race, we all recover at different rates. I was fortunate to be almost dry 18 days after the operation,I did have some small accidents but nothing major.My job involved being part office based and part driving to site meetings throughout the UK, so not a physically demanding job.

I felt I had complied with the law regarding driving after 4 weeks. In hindsight, as I learnt from lyn, I perhaps should have consulted my insurance companies.

Best wishes for his recovery.

Thanks Chris

Posted 28 Oct 2017 at 09:31
I was 55 when I had my OP by Da vinci I was back at work in 6 weeks but work in office would not have been back so early if I had to do any physical work. To heal fully inside can take many months.
Posted 28 Oct 2017 at 13:08

Thank you all for the replies. My partner is a Prison Officer so his job can be quite physical . But he would return on light duties. He worries that he would not be allowed to work in pads but I think that would be contrary to discrimination laws.  He has been given a sick note for 2 months, and I wish he would stop worrying and just concentrate on getting himself fit.  He will read this and take comfort from the fact that he isn't the only one under 70 on here . Like I said he was at the support group. Thanks again

Posted 28 Oct 2017 at 16:09
Hi Gilly,
After my RP I invested in a rubber ring from Boots the chemist, reason being when your undercarriage comes back to life it can be quite sore to sit on, don't drive the car until everything has settled down, it can be painful like I found out. Go for brisk walks & don't forget to do your pelvic floor exercise it helps, after 8 weeks I didn't need pads, however I did leak a bit after a cough , sneeze or fart, but the leak was minimal.


Posted 28 Oct 2017 at 17:54

Hi James,  we walked to a local café today but sitting on the hard seat was really painful for him, that was something he wasn't told about. Iv'e read on here about men driving after a couple weeks but i'm sure the insurance company wont agree to that ! Cheers Gilly

Posted 31 Oct 2017 at 22:51
Hi Gilly
I am 57 and had RP by Davinci robot in August, I have a fairly active job and returned to work after 8 weeks, I still have minor pain where the lymph glands were removed if I over do it, everyone recovers at their own rate and your OH needs to listen to his body, he is the best person to know when his limits are reached. Every day the pains will reduce, as far as incontenance goes, personally I was not looking forward to the incontenance, I was catheterised for 10 days but on removal I had 1day with slight leakage.
Wishing your OH a speedy recovery

Posted 01 Nov 2017 at 17:10

One day now that's really good ! At the moment the catheter is causing him a lot pain so he cant wait for it's removal on Saturday. I think you are right, he needs to go at his own pace.

Posted 01 Nov 2017 at 20:24
Hi Gilly
Certainly getting the catheter out will be a great relief, what I would say is make sure he does pelvic floor exercises, I found an app for my phone that allowed me to do my PFE’s up to 4 times a day, this will also help and improve any incontenance,
Good luck for Saturday

Posted 01 Nov 2017 at 21:04

RP is a major operation and it is important to avoid strenuous tasks and lifting more than very light objects, preferably for up to 3 months after it to enable internal healing.

Posted 02 Nov 2017 at 10:14

I had the Da Vinci op aged 53 and was back at work after 2 weeks (self employed...), and trying to rock climb again. OK, so the climbing was a little premature, and could only really do it at 6weeks+! Leakage was very manageable, I wore a pad for safety during the day for a few weeks, then no longer needed. I believe a strict PFE regime helped with this. The catheter was very unpleasant!

Posted 02 Nov 2017 at 10:52
I realise that I am likely to be in a much older age group than your OH and have the luxury of being able to work as and when I please but the thing I would like to caution against is comparing his recovery time with that of others.
My insurance company was happy for me to decide when I felt I could safely return to driving and this was the same for the various firms I drive for. I had continence issues but bear in mind that everyone's op is different and recovery time is affected by exactly what has been done.
I think you have to listen to your own body and don't rush things as you could undo some of the work that the surgeon has done.
Hope all goes well on Saturday.
I found that all the other discomforts gradually disappeared especially if you remain as active as possible as then you don't think about them.
All the very best.

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