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Recovery after Da Vinci Surgery - initial thoughts

Posted 06 Oct 2018 at 16:48

I’ve been home 4 days after have the robotic surgery at St George’s in London. I went in with Gleason 9 and apparently once they opened me up it was a ‘difficult’ procedure. I’ve had a PET scan that indicates it hasn’t spread but now waiting on lymph node biopsy. I was under for 4/4.5 hours, actual surgery around 3 hours  

Things to look out for:

My god the wards are noisy, take ear plugs if you’re ok using them. Maybe an eye mask too.

If you want things like phones, toothbrush after you come round pack them high in your bag. I had three needles across both hands which made delving into my bag a challenge  

I got up and padded around the ward as soon as allowed, my mission was to get home ASAP to get some sleep. I was in for two nights.

Watch out for the dressings. I was allergic to them and came out in blisters that are more now sore than the incisions.

There are two types of leg catheters. One length for thigh, one for calf. I much preferred the calf one but the ones they have given me as I left were the shorter version. At least it’s only temporary.

The food is like 1960‘s school dinners but you probably won’t be hungry. M&S is on site as well as Pret if having visitors and you fancy something.

Most importantly the surgical and nursing team are outstanding and very supportive.

I’ve only started on the boards today but have found Prostate UK and its website invaluable throughout, right from the first PSA test. Through their nurses helpline I‘ve spoken to men in the same boat but further down the line with their recovery and had a lot of advice.  

Hopefully some people may find bits of this useful as I did other posts. Sharing some of this stuff really does help.







Edited by member 12 Oct 2018 at 14:54  | Reason: correction

Posted 08 Oct 2018 at 09:10

HI Mike,

Thanks for sharing!

Your message brought back many memories especially as I had my Da Vinci RP at St George's too! I went through the diagnostic procedure at QMH Roehampton under the same Consultant which was brilliant.

If you read my profile, you'll see that I'm 3.5 years ahead of you (I'm currently 60yo), I was originally staged at T3a but downgraded post op to T2c.

My post op PSA was undetectable where it has remained since. In addition, I was dry immediately, but having had nerve sparing on one side I had ED for 12 months. However, with a little help from Mr Cialis, I'm able to have sex on demand! All in all, I consider myself a very lucky boy! 

If you have any questions, I happy for you to PM me!

Wishing you all the best for a full and fast recovery!




Edited by member 08 Oct 2018 at 11:03  | Reason: Not specified

Posted 08 Oct 2018 at 09:20

Hi Pablo,

Many thanks for your reply, it’s great and encouraging to hear how well you’re doing!

I’ve yet to go into much detail why they found the procedure more difficult than expected. The tests showed the tumour on one side but I suspect they found something on both as they didn’t manage to spare nerves. They took pains to warn me re the likelihood of this ahead but one does live in hope. 

My consultant has been very hands on, very available and honest throughout. 

I’m now used to the catheter but cannot wait to get it out on Thursday.


Posted 12 Oct 2018 at 14:52

Update after 10 days. 

I‘ve now had the catheter and staples taken out. I found it slow going after it came out, I was called back to the hospital for an ultrasound scan. After discussion I came home and now I have decent flow. I’m having the usual challenges but glad the pipe has gone. 

The surgeon called last night with the post op biopsy. It was Gleason 9 as previously thought but the staging was further along at T3b. They think they’ve got all of it which is a big relief. The next test with be the PSA in about 4.5 weeks. 

The incision points are healing well, still a little sore but with that tickley feeling you get when it’s healing. 



Posted 12 Oct 2018 at 18:01
Hope your surgeon is correct - he will have done well to have removed all your cancer with a T3b. Is HT/RT being proposed to augment the surgery?
Posted 12 Oct 2018 at 18:22

They are pretty sure they got it all and the lymph nodes are clear so no further treatment has been proposed. He did say the operation was difficult due to it being more advanced than thought but I’ve been told they are sure they’ve removed it all. He said they wouldn’t have tried the surgery in a case like mine five years ago but surgical techniques have advanced. 

I suppose I should wait until the PSA test before getting too celebratory. 

Posted 14 Oct 2018 at 08:36

Mike, fingers and everything else crossed that they had removed all of the cancer!!

Wishing you all the best for your first post-op PSA! Do you have a date for your PSA test!

As you know, I was also treated at the same hospital as you, and I had my first post-op meeting with my surgeon a week after my blood test so those results could be discussed as well! This was 3months post-op!! 

Edited by member 14 Oct 2018 at 08:37  | Reason: Not specified

Posted 14 Oct 2018 at 09:43

Thanks Pablo, I’m taking it one day at a time. Trying to keep up the pelvic floor exercises but it’s all still a little sore. 

I‘m due to go back in mid November with the blood test a few days before. 


Posted 14 Nov 2018 at 22:39
A quick update.

I went back into the hospital this afternoon to get the results of my first post op PSA test. It was good news and it’s ‘undetectable’. So in remission and cancer free. I’m very grateful to the urology team. Now I can concentrate on the recovery. It’s hard to define what the long term might bring as apparently there’s not much data on successful surgery to deal with staging at T3b. As techniques constantly improve there should be more information and I’m hoping I’ll be part of the positive story.

Posted 15 Nov 2018 at 14:09
Top news Mike, and thanks for sharing!

Fingers crossed that you are indeed part of that positive story! :-))

Posted 15 Nov 2018 at 14:21
Thanks Pablo!
Posted 16 Nov 2018 at 07:55

That's great news!  I bet you're so relieved.  Good luck with your recovery.  Did you have a MRI scan before your op Mike?  MY hubby has just been diagnosed G6 but the MRI has staged it at T3a.  Im praying it's downgraded like yours Pablo.


Posted 16 Nov 2018 at 09:18

Yes, very relieved! Thanks Michaela

I had an MRI and a template biopsy. I was diagnosed as G9 and T2. It was only after the op it was changed to T3b. 

Wishing you and your husband all the best. The odds are very much in your favour and hopefully you’ll have similar news soon. 



Posted 04 Dec 2018 at 23:00
hi Mike, ive sent you a PM! :-))
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