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Practical advice before surgery

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 11:08

Hello all,

My OH is due to have RP surgery in just over a week and I wondered if anyone had any advice on things to buy / things to arrange before he goes into hospital?

He seems to think that he just needs a pair of baggy jogging bottoms (only because I have persuaded him) and that TENA pads won't be needed until the catheter is out, so he'll get them in a few weeks!!

I really feel we are not practically prepared for this.

He is so chilled....but I am not!!  I want to get everything he needs so that I can help him and support him, but I'm not really sure what else he might need.

Thank you for any advice - either practical...or any extra little touches that might help him :)

Tulippy :)

Take care,

Tulippy 🌹 x

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 09:20
Forget shaving, forget the pump (for now!) If you like penetrative sex make the most of this week!!
User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 11:49

V pillow is a good idea for a couple of weeks. I just made a v out of existing pillows and slept propped up for the 1st couple of weeks due to difficulty with mobility - it improves. You need to learn to roll to get out of bed. Didn’t bother with mattress protection- just had a towel and didn’t need it. Normal plastic bags only - there’s a technique which my daughter showed us (she’s a nurse)

User
Posted 05 Jun 2023 at 22:18

Hi there. Yes just food bags! Getting those stockings on and off are hard work, even with moisturiser. So if you put a bag on foot first the stocking slides on over the bag far more easily and then you can remove the bag through the hole in the toes! The first few days post-op we ditched the showering, it’s was too much like hard work and hubby was exhausted. One day at a time and drop me a message any time. The first week-10 days is tough. It really is tiny steps. Once the catheter comes out he will feel so much better. Hope it all goes smoothly and you are soon over this hurdle x

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 11:55
a few drinks and snacks, mobile phone and back up battery....

not sure there is much more-

its a tricky time and a worry- Good luck with everything

Dave

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 13:17

I was sent home post op with pads and needed them as I leaked even with the catheter in place. Other than that all you need is spare clothes snacks mobile phone and charger. I wasn’t up to reading or anything that required took much effort or thought. Pre op get all grooming sorted - hair cut toe nails etc. I’m glad I did as it was 6 weeks before I could get out for a haircut and even now 7 weeks post op would struggle to cut toe nails! 

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 13:37
Y-fronts or trunks (one size larger than he normally wears) rather than loose boxer shorts - his scrotum and testicles may be very swollen and he will be glad of the support. Plus it holds the catheter still.

Ask whether the hospital will send him home with some local anaesthetic gel for the eye of his penis - if not, you can get some from the chemist

A large bucket to stand the catheter bag in during the night - reduces the worry of it overflowing

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 13:41

Tulippy , hope all goes well.

 

Just in case the catheter makes the eye of the penis sore, instilagel or hydrocaine are available from a pharmacist without prescription at most chemists except Boots, who require a prescription. The hospital may give you some, it is a couple of pounds a syringe, you may not need it. Slight leaking of urine and blood from the penis can happen even with a catheter in, particularly when passing a motion. I wore a pad even when I had a catheter, easier to swap a pad than the underwear.

 

Get a packet of your favourite biscuits for a midnight snack in hospital.

 

A bucket is often suggested, but medical advice is that the catheter should be supported not just left in the bottom of the bucket. I have never had a night bag leak, but did once disconnect the night bag before turning the leg bag tap off. Get an extra thigh strap from the hospital, attach the night bag tube to the leg bag outlet then attach the night bag tube to your ankle with the strap, it helps reduce the risk of pulling on the joints. PJ bottoms as suggested also help save any tangles. I wore snug but not tight underwear, it help keeps the catheter from moving around and rubbing in the eye of the penis.

 

Hospital should provide ear plugs and eye mask.A ward can be very noisy at night. The guy opposite me had the noisiest carry bag in the world.

 

Try to avoid constipation

The following has lots of ideas.

https://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t29021-Practical-preparation-for-surgery#post278042

Thanks Chris 

 

 

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 16:17

Thank you everyone, I really do appreciate your experiences on this.

I'm going to order a waterproof mattress protector and also some little protector things for the car for on the way home.
I don't want him to think I'm worried about some pee pee, I just don't want him to be embarrassed if anything does happen.
Trying to save him from that at least!

He bought the loose joggers today so he does listen to me sometimes!! :)

 

Edited by member 01 Jun 2023 at 16:23  | Reason: Not specified

Take care,

Tulippy 🌹 x

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 21:48
Tulippy, on top of ColwickChris's advice about constipation, your husband should avoid food which provokes wind in the few days before the operation. The rectum gets a bit knocked about during the operation (the robotic probe does its stuff in the space between the bladder/prostate and the rectum) and becomes incredibly sensitive. The main cause of post-operative pain seemed to be due to wind in the rectum irritating the sensitive rectum wall.

You will probably have some idea of which food causes wind in your husband's case, beans are a well-known culprit and I was warned against green vegetables.

Good luck to him, and you.

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 22:25

I suggest you shave or at least trim your pubic hair. Get a vacuum pump to try out how it feels before the surgery so that you can use it during rehabilitation when you have healed and comfortable - this brings blood to the penis and reminds your penis its purpose in life and reconnects with your mind. I think a lot of recovery takes place in your head. Good luck.

Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) Nobel Prize laureate

 

 

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 23:08
Hi there, To add to your list - prune juice works - small glass every day keeps it all regular. I bought a waterproof protector and it didn’t get used. Bucket is good for night time bag. Instillagel if catheter irritates the penis (supplied by district nurse), plastic bags to help get those stockings on and off (game changer). Hope he’s started with the pelvic floor exercises, they really are necessary and do work. My hubby uses the squeezy app. I bought a selection of pads but he won’t need those until catheter is out. Speak to the helpline on here and they will send you a post surgery pack which is really useful. I bought a V pillow which hubby used quite a bit to prop himself up. Comfy jogger/loungewear bottoms and as lynn says opt for briefs rather than boxer shorts to give support. Wishing him well and you - it’s an anxious time x
User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 00:10

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

I suggest you shave or at least trim your pubic hair. Get a vacuum pump to try out how it feels before the surgery so that you can use it during rehabilitation when you have healed and comfortable - this brings blood to the penis and reminds your penis its purpose in life and reconnects with your mind. I think a lot of recovery takes place in your head. Good luck.

Our hospital has strict instructions on not shaving any area prior to surgery and goes as far as to say surgery may be cancelled if the area of surgery has been shaved.

Thanks Chris 

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 11:20

Hi Jayney, thank you for your message, it still won't let me send a private message as I am too new!!

V-pillow sounds a nice idea :) and I'll add some prune juice to the shopping list!

He's doing the squeezy exercises on the app.

I mentioned the mattress protector last night but he really couldn't handle it and said it was bad enough he had to go and buy Tena pads :(  

Thanks for the advice on getting a post surgery pack, will do that today.

What do you mean plastic bags to get the stockings on and off?? Normal plastic bags?

Hope you're ok Jayney and thanks for making contact x

Edited by member 02 Jun 2023 at 11:36  | Reason: Not specified

Take care,

Tulippy 🌹 x

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 16:13
I have never heard of anyone needing to protect their car seats for the journey home post-op- the catheter will be in place.

For the journey home from catheter-removal appointment, the man should have continence pads and maybe a pee bottle (although an empty Oasis bottle does the same job). If someone is really concerned about their car seats, puppy training pads from any good pet shop will do the trick but honestly, if the leakage was that bad, there is something wrong with the continence pad he is wearing.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 16:17

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

I suggest you shave or at least trim your pubic hair. Get a vacuum pump to try out how it feels before the surgery so that you can use it during rehabilitation when you have healed and comfortable - this brings blood to the penis and reminds your penis its purpose in life and reconnects with your mind. I think a lot of recovery takes place in your head. Good luck.

Our hospital has strict instructions on not shaving any area prior to surgery and goes as far as to say surgery may be cancelled if the area of surgery has been shaved.

Thanks Chris 

I think most hospitals insist that patients must not pre-shave - it introduces a risk of infection. 

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 16:19

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
Forget shaving, forget the pump (for now!) If you like penetrative sex make the most of this week!!

This is exactly the advice our surgeon gave John pre-op ... go away and have loads of sex while you can, just in case you can't in future. 

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 06 Jun 2023 at 15:05
I think everyone's experience is different and so I'll just explain what happened to me (RARP was May 12th) and see if any of it helps.

I went in the night before with just a pair of jogging bottoms and T shirt but was immediately put in a gown. Hospitals are very noisy to ear plugs and face mask helped but to be honest, I didn't get more than an hours sleep and was woken at 5am for BP/Temp and blood test. Walked into the operating theatre at 8am and work up 5 hours later in recovery.

I was fitted with inflating bags on my thighs (anti DVT) which are noisy and prevent much sleep but not much discomfort until I got back on the ward.

Very little pain from the op or the scars but the shoulder pain was really bad the next day so ask the nurse to get him on analgesics asap before it starts - probably they will give him IV paracetemol. The pain from the catheter when in bed is not bad but when you get up and it all starts swinging about (not the penis as that has shrunk to a little nub in my case LOL) it hurts the end of the penis. I have seen videos of guys in the USA who have a stick on patch on their thighs to hold the catheter pipes but it was never offered to me.

The next day I was walking around carefully and took an unassisted shower - that takes it out of you so take it easy.

Released from hospital that afternoon - NO driving with a catheter so he will need someone to bring him home.

I was given painkillers (paracetemol), anti-spasmodics, anti coagulent (Lovenox) injections for 28 days, compression stockings (which I wore one day and never again - just make sure you walk around every half an hour or so rather than sitting down all day) and some dressings for the 5 small and 1 larger holes in my abdomen. I have a nurse that comes around every day to inject me but I have heard that most people do it themselves - it's dead easy to do.

It was stressed that keeping the catheter clean and sterilised at all times is VITAL - so I have antiseptic and sterile pads for that. I was given day bags and night bags - the day bag straps to your leg and you empty it from a valve at the bottom when 3/4 full - again keeping the valve sterile after use and I have a night bag (2 litres) that attaches to the bottom of the day bag with the valve open - generally this was 3/4 full in the morning. Just a case of closing the day bag valve and emptying the night bag and disposing of it. I used a new day bag and night bag every day but it depends on what you are supplied with. Again, keep everything sterile after touching it.

The abdomen wounds healed quickly with no pain - stitches are dissolvable.

You should be drinking 1.5L of water per day at this stage to keep it all working.

Catheter was removed after 7 days - the nurse pushes some water up the catheter into the bladder, then releases the water filled ballon that keeps the catheter inside the bladder and the slowly withdraws it from the penis - a weird feeling but not in the slightest bit painful - actually a relief to get it out :)

As a side sleeper, sleeping with a catheter is mostly on your back to if you are a side sleeper then be aware of the back pain you will experience.

Then you have to wait for an hour or so until you are peeing - blood in your urine is perfectly normal although I was lucky and didn't have any.

You will have zero urine control at this point so you will need the 6 waterdrop Tena pads for the first couple of days and nights - I haven't had any leaking outside of the pads.

After a couple of days you will start to get some control over peeing - think of 'shortening your penis' and that action will use the muscles to hold it in. Standing up will create a dribble to begin with and standing at the toilet, it can start to flow without any control but this will improve over the next couple of weeks. Now I am on 2 waterdrop pads and they are more than sufficient.

Constipation is a concern so things need to move within 2 days - you cannot strain, it has to come naturally and so I took a senokot tablet the day after I came home and everything has been regular since that day - it can be a little painful the first couple of days but not for long.

So a couple of things that I have discovered - there was very little pain from the operation - the main pain was the swinging catheter, the first bowel movement and the shoulder and back pain - all can be controlled with regular paracetemol (don't wait until the pain starts, keep it going every 6 hours (1000mg tablet)). Getting control of peeing is firstly a case of thinking about that 'shrinking the penis' action when you go to stand up and holding it until you get to the loo, Try and hold it in for a few seconds before you release it. Urine flow is fairly slow for the first week or so but by week 3 you will be peeing like a horse!

On a more sensitive note, the penis is shorter after the op - not sure yet by how much as after 4 weeks there is no sign yet of an erection although I have started to be able to make my penis twitch which is a positive side and although penetrative sex is completely out of the question, I randomly discovered that you don't need an erection to achieve an orgasm - it's quite an interesting experience as it's a dry orgasm (although you may release a little urine if your bladder isn't empty) but it was one heck of a relief to know that something is still possible.

Meeting the consultant to get histology reports on the 24th so fingers crossed.

I hope that helps a bit - as I said, that was my experience and others may have been different - I'm 62 and 15 stone for comparisons.

User
Posted 06 Jun 2023 at 22:19

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
I think everyone's experience is different and so I'll just explain what happened to me (RARP was May 12th) and see if any of it helps.

I went in the night before with just a pair of jogging bottoms and T shirt but was immediately put in a gown. Hospitals are very noisy to ear plugs and face mask helped but to be honest, I didn't get more than an hours sleep and was woken at 5am for BP/Temp and blood test. Walked into the operating theatre at 8am and work up 5 hours later in recovery.

I was fitted with inflating bags on my thighs (anti DVT) which are noisy and prevent much sleep but not much discomfort until I got back on the ward.
Very little pain from the op or the scars but the shoulder pain was really bad the next day so ask the nurse to get him on analgesics asap before it starts - probably they will give him IV paracetemol. The pain from the catheter when in bed is not bad but when you get up and it all starts swinging about (not the penis as that has shrunk to a little nub in my case LOL) it hurts the end of the penis. I have seen videos of guys in the USA who have a stick on patch on their thighs to hold the catheter pipes but it was never offered to me.
The next day I was walking around carefully and took an unassisted shower - that takes it out of you so take it easy.
Released from hospital that afternoon - NO driving with a catheter so he will need someone to bring him home.
I was given painkillers (paracetemol), anti-spasmodics, anti coagulent (Lovenox) injections for 28 days, compression stockings (which I wore one day and never again - just make sure you walk around every half an hour or so rather than sitting down all day) and some dressings for the 5 small and 1 larger holes in my abdomen. I have a nurse that comes around every day to inject me but I have heard that most people do it themselves - it's dead easy to do.
It was stressed that keeping the catheter clean and sterilised at all times is VITAL - so I have antiseptic and sterile pads for that. I was given day bags and night bags - the day bag straps to your leg and you empty it from a valve at the bottom when 3/4 full - again keeping the valve sterile after use and I have a night bag (2 litres) that attaches to the bottom of the day bag with the valve open - generally this was 3/4 full in the morning. Just a case of closing the day bag valve and emptying the night bag and disposing of it. I used a new day bag and night bag every day but it depends on what you are supplied with. Again, keep everything sterile after touching it.
The abdomen wounds healed quickly with no pain - stitches are dissolvable.
You should be drinking 1.5L of water per day at this stage to keep it all working.
Catheter was removed after 7 days - the nurse pushes some water up the catheter into the bladder, then releases the water filled ballon that keeps the catheter inside the bladder and the slowly withdraws it from the penis - a weird feeling but not in the slightest bit painful - actually a relief to get it out :)
As a side sleeper, sleeping with a catheter is mostly on your back to if you are a side sleeper then be aware of the back pain you will experience.
Then you have to wait for an hour or so until you are peeing - blood in your urine is perfectly normal although I was lucky and didn't have any.
You will have zero urine control at this point so you will need the 6 waterdrop Tena pads for the first couple of days and nights - I haven't had any leaking outside of the pads.
After a couple of days you will start to get some control over peeing - think of 'shortening your penis' and that action will use the muscles to hold it in. Standing up will create a dribble to begin with and standing at the toilet, it can start to flow without any control but this will improve over the next couple of weeks. Now I am on 2 waterdrop pads and they are more than sufficient.
Constipation is a concern so things need to move within 2 days - you cannot strain, it has to come naturally and so I took a senokot tablet the day after I came home and everything has been regular since that day - it can be a little painful the first couple of days but not for long.

So a couple of things that I have discovered - there was very little pain from the operation - the main pain was the swinging catheter, the first bowel movement and the shoulder and back pain - all can be controlled with regular paracetemol (don't wait until the pain starts, keep it going every 6 hours (1000mg tablet)). Getting control of peeing is firstly a case of thinking about that 'shrinking the penis' action when you go to stand up and holding it until you get to the loo, Try and hold it in for a few seconds before you release it. Urine flow is fairly slow for the first week or so but by week 3 you will be peeing like a horse!

On a more sensitive note, the penis is shorter after the op - not sure yet by how much as after 4 weeks there is no sign yet of an erection although I have started to be able to make my penis twitch which is a positive side and although penetrative sex is completely out of the question, I randomly discovered that you don't need an erection to achieve an orgasm - it's quite an interesting experience as it's a dry orgasm (although you may release a little urine if your bladder isn't empty) but it was one heck of a relief to know that something is still possible.

Meeting the consultant to get histology reports on the 24th so fingers crossed.

I hope that helps a bit - as I said, that was my experience and others may have been different - I'm 62 and 15 stone for comparisons.

 

hope your meeting on 24th is positive Steve 🤞

User
Posted 07 Jun 2023 at 14:14

Thanks Steve for your honest account of your experience on this, I appreciate it.

I am so grateful to everyone for their help and suggestions.

Next thing...Saturday here we come!  I'll be back to post any updates and probably ask for more advice :)

I hope the 24th goes well for you Steve 👍

Take care,

Tulippy 🌹 x

Show Most Thanked Posts
User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 11:55
a few drinks and snacks, mobile phone and back up battery....

not sure there is much more-

its a tricky time and a worry- Good luck with everything

Dave

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 13:17

I was sent home post op with pads and needed them as I leaked even with the catheter in place. Other than that all you need is spare clothes snacks mobile phone and charger. I wasn’t up to reading or anything that required took much effort or thought. Pre op get all grooming sorted - hair cut toe nails etc. I’m glad I did as it was 6 weeks before I could get out for a haircut and even now 7 weeks post op would struggle to cut toe nails! 

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 13:37
Y-fronts or trunks (one size larger than he normally wears) rather than loose boxer shorts - his scrotum and testicles may be very swollen and he will be glad of the support. Plus it holds the catheter still.

Ask whether the hospital will send him home with some local anaesthetic gel for the eye of his penis - if not, you can get some from the chemist

A large bucket to stand the catheter bag in during the night - reduces the worry of it overflowing

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 13:41

Tulippy , hope all goes well.

 

Just in case the catheter makes the eye of the penis sore, instilagel or hydrocaine are available from a pharmacist without prescription at most chemists except Boots, who require a prescription. The hospital may give you some, it is a couple of pounds a syringe, you may not need it. Slight leaking of urine and blood from the penis can happen even with a catheter in, particularly when passing a motion. I wore a pad even when I had a catheter, easier to swap a pad than the underwear.

 

Get a packet of your favourite biscuits for a midnight snack in hospital.

 

A bucket is often suggested, but medical advice is that the catheter should be supported not just left in the bottom of the bucket. I have never had a night bag leak, but did once disconnect the night bag before turning the leg bag tap off. Get an extra thigh strap from the hospital, attach the night bag tube to the leg bag outlet then attach the night bag tube to your ankle with the strap, it helps reduce the risk of pulling on the joints. PJ bottoms as suggested also help save any tangles. I wore snug but not tight underwear, it help keeps the catheter from moving around and rubbing in the eye of the penis.

 

Hospital should provide ear plugs and eye mask.A ward can be very noisy at night. The guy opposite me had the noisiest carry bag in the world.

 

Try to avoid constipation

The following has lots of ideas.

https://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t29021-Practical-preparation-for-surgery#post278042

Thanks Chris 

 

 

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 16:17

Thank you everyone, I really do appreciate your experiences on this.

I'm going to order a waterproof mattress protector and also some little protector things for the car for on the way home.
I don't want him to think I'm worried about some pee pee, I just don't want him to be embarrassed if anything does happen.
Trying to save him from that at least!

He bought the loose joggers today so he does listen to me sometimes!! :)

 

Edited by member 01 Jun 2023 at 16:23  | Reason: Not specified

Take care,

Tulippy 🌹 x

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 21:48
Tulippy, on top of ColwickChris's advice about constipation, your husband should avoid food which provokes wind in the few days before the operation. The rectum gets a bit knocked about during the operation (the robotic probe does its stuff in the space between the bladder/prostate and the rectum) and becomes incredibly sensitive. The main cause of post-operative pain seemed to be due to wind in the rectum irritating the sensitive rectum wall.

You will probably have some idea of which food causes wind in your husband's case, beans are a well-known culprit and I was warned against green vegetables.

Good luck to him, and you.

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 22:25

I suggest you shave or at least trim your pubic hair. Get a vacuum pump to try out how it feels before the surgery so that you can use it during rehabilitation when you have healed and comfortable - this brings blood to the penis and reminds your penis its purpose in life and reconnects with your mind. I think a lot of recovery takes place in your head. Good luck.

Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) Nobel Prize laureate

 

 

User
Posted 01 Jun 2023 at 23:08
Hi there, To add to your list - prune juice works - small glass every day keeps it all regular. I bought a waterproof protector and it didn’t get used. Bucket is good for night time bag. Instillagel if catheter irritates the penis (supplied by district nurse), plastic bags to help get those stockings on and off (game changer). Hope he’s started with the pelvic floor exercises, they really are necessary and do work. My hubby uses the squeezy app. I bought a selection of pads but he won’t need those until catheter is out. Speak to the helpline on here and they will send you a post surgery pack which is really useful. I bought a V pillow which hubby used quite a bit to prop himself up. Comfy jogger/loungewear bottoms and as lynn says opt for briefs rather than boxer shorts to give support. Wishing him well and you - it’s an anxious time x
User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 00:10

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

I suggest you shave or at least trim your pubic hair. Get a vacuum pump to try out how it feels before the surgery so that you can use it during rehabilitation when you have healed and comfortable - this brings blood to the penis and reminds your penis its purpose in life and reconnects with your mind. I think a lot of recovery takes place in your head. Good luck.

Our hospital has strict instructions on not shaving any area prior to surgery and goes as far as to say surgery may be cancelled if the area of surgery has been shaved.

Thanks Chris 

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 09:20
Forget shaving, forget the pump (for now!) If you like penetrative sex make the most of this week!!
User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 11:20

Hi Jayney, thank you for your message, it still won't let me send a private message as I am too new!!

V-pillow sounds a nice idea :) and I'll add some prune juice to the shopping list!

He's doing the squeezy exercises on the app.

I mentioned the mattress protector last night but he really couldn't handle it and said it was bad enough he had to go and buy Tena pads :(  

Thanks for the advice on getting a post surgery pack, will do that today.

What do you mean plastic bags to get the stockings on and off?? Normal plastic bags?

Hope you're ok Jayney and thanks for making contact x

Edited by member 02 Jun 2023 at 11:36  | Reason: Not specified

Take care,

Tulippy 🌹 x

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 11:21

Thanks Chris - I will check this out 

Take care,

Tulippy 🌹 x

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 11:22

Oh my francij1 - it looks like it's going to be a busy week!! :o

Take care,

Tulippy 🌹 x

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 11:49

V pillow is a good idea for a couple of weeks. I just made a v out of existing pillows and slept propped up for the 1st couple of weeks due to difficulty with mobility - it improves. You need to learn to roll to get out of bed. Didn’t bother with mattress protection- just had a towel and didn’t need it. Normal plastic bags only - there’s a technique which my daughter showed us (she’s a nurse)

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 14:14

 Re protecting car seats from potential leakages - please can one of the kind folk on this forum tell us a bit more about what to buy for this?   (Or what can be repurposed for it.)

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 16:13
I have never heard of anyone needing to protect their car seats for the journey home post-op- the catheter will be in place.

For the journey home from catheter-removal appointment, the man should have continence pads and maybe a pee bottle (although an empty Oasis bottle does the same job). If someone is really concerned about their car seats, puppy training pads from any good pet shop will do the trick but honestly, if the leakage was that bad, there is something wrong with the continence pad he is wearing.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 16:17

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

I suggest you shave or at least trim your pubic hair. Get a vacuum pump to try out how it feels before the surgery so that you can use it during rehabilitation when you have healed and comfortable - this brings blood to the penis and reminds your penis its purpose in life and reconnects with your mind. I think a lot of recovery takes place in your head. Good luck.

Our hospital has strict instructions on not shaving any area prior to surgery and goes as far as to say surgery may be cancelled if the area of surgery has been shaved.

Thanks Chris 

I think most hospitals insist that patients must not pre-shave - it introduces a risk of infection. 

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 16:19

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
Forget shaving, forget the pump (for now!) If you like penetrative sex make the most of this week!!

This is exactly the advice our surgeon gave John pre-op ... go away and have loads of sex while you can, just in case you can't in future. 

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 02 Jun 2023 at 16:24

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
The main cause of post-operative pain seemed to be due to wind in the rectum irritating the sensitive rectum wall.

Good luck to him, and you.

 

The most common cause of pain post-op is gas, which often feels like an awful pain in the chest or under the shoulder blades. However, this is not gas from the bowel; when doing keyhole RP, the abdomen is inflated with gas to give the surgeon space to work. This gas can be difficult to shift afterwards. 

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 04 Jun 2023 at 18:35
Yes I have heard of people suffering pain from the gas used to inflate the abdomen, which as you say is distinctive because it tends to be referred to the shoulder or upper chest. In my case it was very definitely hypogastric pain; while it could have been from the internal site of surgery it did correlate with a feeling of wind and one of the urology nurses told me that many patients suffered pain from this cause after PC surgery.
User
Posted 05 Jun 2023 at 22:18

Hi there. Yes just food bags! Getting those stockings on and off are hard work, even with moisturiser. So if you put a bag on foot first the stocking slides on over the bag far more easily and then you can remove the bag through the hole in the toes! The first few days post-op we ditched the showering, it’s was too much like hard work and hubby was exhausted. One day at a time and drop me a message any time. The first week-10 days is tough. It really is tiny steps. Once the catheter comes out he will feel so much better. Hope it all goes smoothly and you are soon over this hurdle x

User
Posted 05 Jun 2023 at 22:38

I have just written a long post on the subject of Preparing for Prostatectomy and Rehabilitation you make like to look at. My experience is by no means recent (I may have forgotten a lot of events, and just as well!). Reading other people's comments here I think I will have to edit my positing to include some of the comments I read here - one never stops learning.

Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) Nobel Prize laureate

 

 

User
Posted 05 Jun 2023 at 22:56

That is true for most men. Unfortunately I was an exception - urine was dripping out past the catheter and continued to do so for five weeks I had to put up with the catheter because the joint where the urethra is reattached to the bladder was leaky and I had a scan every week to check if the leak had healed; this was a time of major stress for us as you can imagine. Fortunately it healed with no side effects.

Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) Nobel Prize laureate

 

 

User
Posted 06 Jun 2023 at 12:51

Sorry to be a pain Jayney (and I'm still not allowed to send private messages!) - do you mean the little food freezer bags or normal carrier bag size?

It all sounds a bit bizarre but I'm sure it will make sense when we try and get those stockings on!!

Can't believe we only have a few days to go. Think it's starting to hit him now, he's not so much worried about the op but what will come after.

I'm keeping busy at work and trying to get through next few days.

Still feels like this isn't real :(  x

Take care,

Tulippy 🌹 x

User
Posted 06 Jun 2023 at 15:05
I think everyone's experience is different and so I'll just explain what happened to me (RARP was May 12th) and see if any of it helps.

I went in the night before with just a pair of jogging bottoms and T shirt but was immediately put in a gown. Hospitals are very noisy to ear plugs and face mask helped but to be honest, I didn't get more than an hours sleep and was woken at 5am for BP/Temp and blood test. Walked into the operating theatre at 8am and work up 5 hours later in recovery.

I was fitted with inflating bags on my thighs (anti DVT) which are noisy and prevent much sleep but not much discomfort until I got back on the ward.

Very little pain from the op or the scars but the shoulder pain was really bad the next day so ask the nurse to get him on analgesics asap before it starts - probably they will give him IV paracetemol. The pain from the catheter when in bed is not bad but when you get up and it all starts swinging about (not the penis as that has shrunk to a little nub in my case LOL) it hurts the end of the penis. I have seen videos of guys in the USA who have a stick on patch on their thighs to hold the catheter pipes but it was never offered to me.

The next day I was walking around carefully and took an unassisted shower - that takes it out of you so take it easy.

Released from hospital that afternoon - NO driving with a catheter so he will need someone to bring him home.

I was given painkillers (paracetemol), anti-spasmodics, anti coagulent (Lovenox) injections for 28 days, compression stockings (which I wore one day and never again - just make sure you walk around every half an hour or so rather than sitting down all day) and some dressings for the 5 small and 1 larger holes in my abdomen. I have a nurse that comes around every day to inject me but I have heard that most people do it themselves - it's dead easy to do.

It was stressed that keeping the catheter clean and sterilised at all times is VITAL - so I have antiseptic and sterile pads for that. I was given day bags and night bags - the day bag straps to your leg and you empty it from a valve at the bottom when 3/4 full - again keeping the valve sterile after use and I have a night bag (2 litres) that attaches to the bottom of the day bag with the valve open - generally this was 3/4 full in the morning. Just a case of closing the day bag valve and emptying the night bag and disposing of it. I used a new day bag and night bag every day but it depends on what you are supplied with. Again, keep everything sterile after touching it.

The abdomen wounds healed quickly with no pain - stitches are dissolvable.

You should be drinking 1.5L of water per day at this stage to keep it all working.

Catheter was removed after 7 days - the nurse pushes some water up the catheter into the bladder, then releases the water filled ballon that keeps the catheter inside the bladder and the slowly withdraws it from the penis - a weird feeling but not in the slightest bit painful - actually a relief to get it out :)

As a side sleeper, sleeping with a catheter is mostly on your back to if you are a side sleeper then be aware of the back pain you will experience.

Then you have to wait for an hour or so until you are peeing - blood in your urine is perfectly normal although I was lucky and didn't have any.

You will have zero urine control at this point so you will need the 6 waterdrop Tena pads for the first couple of days and nights - I haven't had any leaking outside of the pads.

After a couple of days you will start to get some control over peeing - think of 'shortening your penis' and that action will use the muscles to hold it in. Standing up will create a dribble to begin with and standing at the toilet, it can start to flow without any control but this will improve over the next couple of weeks. Now I am on 2 waterdrop pads and they are more than sufficient.

Constipation is a concern so things need to move within 2 days - you cannot strain, it has to come naturally and so I took a senokot tablet the day after I came home and everything has been regular since that day - it can be a little painful the first couple of days but not for long.

So a couple of things that I have discovered - there was very little pain from the operation - the main pain was the swinging catheter, the first bowel movement and the shoulder and back pain - all can be controlled with regular paracetemol (don't wait until the pain starts, keep it going every 6 hours (1000mg tablet)). Getting control of peeing is firstly a case of thinking about that 'shrinking the penis' action when you go to stand up and holding it until you get to the loo, Try and hold it in for a few seconds before you release it. Urine flow is fairly slow for the first week or so but by week 3 you will be peeing like a horse!

On a more sensitive note, the penis is shorter after the op - not sure yet by how much as after 4 weeks there is no sign yet of an erection although I have started to be able to make my penis twitch which is a positive side and although penetrative sex is completely out of the question, I randomly discovered that you don't need an erection to achieve an orgasm - it's quite an interesting experience as it's a dry orgasm (although you may release a little urine if your bladder isn't empty) but it was one heck of a relief to know that something is still possible.

Meeting the consultant to get histology reports on the 24th so fingers crossed.

I hope that helps a bit - as I said, that was my experience and others may have been different - I'm 62 and 15 stone for comparisons.

User
Posted 06 Jun 2023 at 17:19

My experience after surgery, 12 years ago, was very similar. You are discovering problems one by one as you adjust which is a pity because if you had known before the surgery life would have been easier. You have some way to go for further improvement. I have recently posted on this subject on this site under 'Preparing for Prostatectomy and Rehabilitation' which you may find useful. Also there is another thread by me on re-establishing sex life here:

https://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t28948-Re-establishing-Sex-Life

 

Edited by member 06 Jun 2023 at 17:21  | Reason: Not specified

Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) Nobel Prize laureate

 

 

User
Posted 06 Jun 2023 at 22:15

Yes just food bag size…… really helps to get the stockings on and off. I agree it’s completely surreal, I’m sure your hubby is fit and well apart from the obvious and now he has to recover from major surgery and go through the recovery and get well again!! 

try and keep busy and hope he is soon over this hurdle x

Edited by member 07 Jun 2023 at 06:46  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 06 Jun 2023 at 22:19

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
I think everyone's experience is different and so I'll just explain what happened to me (RARP was May 12th) and see if any of it helps.

I went in the night before with just a pair of jogging bottoms and T shirt but was immediately put in a gown. Hospitals are very noisy to ear plugs and face mask helped but to be honest, I didn't get more than an hours sleep and was woken at 5am for BP/Temp and blood test. Walked into the operating theatre at 8am and work up 5 hours later in recovery.

I was fitted with inflating bags on my thighs (anti DVT) which are noisy and prevent much sleep but not much discomfort until I got back on the ward.
Very little pain from the op or the scars but the shoulder pain was really bad the next day so ask the nurse to get him on analgesics asap before it starts - probably they will give him IV paracetemol. The pain from the catheter when in bed is not bad but when you get up and it all starts swinging about (not the penis as that has shrunk to a little nub in my case LOL) it hurts the end of the penis. I have seen videos of guys in the USA who have a stick on patch on their thighs to hold the catheter pipes but it was never offered to me.
The next day I was walking around carefully and took an unassisted shower - that takes it out of you so take it easy.
Released from hospital that afternoon - NO driving with a catheter so he will need someone to bring him home.
I was given painkillers (paracetemol), anti-spasmodics, anti coagulent (Lovenox) injections for 28 days, compression stockings (which I wore one day and never again - just make sure you walk around every half an hour or so rather than sitting down all day) and some dressings for the 5 small and 1 larger holes in my abdomen. I have a nurse that comes around every day to inject me but I have heard that most people do it themselves - it's dead easy to do.
It was stressed that keeping the catheter clean and sterilised at all times is VITAL - so I have antiseptic and sterile pads for that. I was given day bags and night bags - the day bag straps to your leg and you empty it from a valve at the bottom when 3/4 full - again keeping the valve sterile after use and I have a night bag (2 litres) that attaches to the bottom of the day bag with the valve open - generally this was 3/4 full in the morning. Just a case of closing the day bag valve and emptying the night bag and disposing of it. I used a new day bag and night bag every day but it depends on what you are supplied with. Again, keep everything sterile after touching it.
The abdomen wounds healed quickly with no pain - stitches are dissolvable.
You should be drinking 1.5L of water per day at this stage to keep it all working.
Catheter was removed after 7 days - the nurse pushes some water up the catheter into the bladder, then releases the water filled ballon that keeps the catheter inside the bladder and the slowly withdraws it from the penis - a weird feeling but not in the slightest bit painful - actually a relief to get it out :)
As a side sleeper, sleeping with a catheter is mostly on your back to if you are a side sleeper then be aware of the back pain you will experience.
Then you have to wait for an hour or so until you are peeing - blood in your urine is perfectly normal although I was lucky and didn't have any.
You will have zero urine control at this point so you will need the 6 waterdrop Tena pads for the first couple of days and nights - I haven't had any leaking outside of the pads.
After a couple of days you will start to get some control over peeing - think of 'shortening your penis' and that action will use the muscles to hold it in. Standing up will create a dribble to begin with and standing at the toilet, it can start to flow without any control but this will improve over the next couple of weeks. Now I am on 2 waterdrop pads and they are more than sufficient.
Constipation is a concern so things need to move within 2 days - you cannot strain, it has to come naturally and so I took a senokot tablet the day after I came home and everything has been regular since that day - it can be a little painful the first couple of days but not for long.

So a couple of things that I have discovered - there was very little pain from the operation - the main pain was the swinging catheter, the first bowel movement and the shoulder and back pain - all can be controlled with regular paracetemol (don't wait until the pain starts, keep it going every 6 hours (1000mg tablet)). Getting control of peeing is firstly a case of thinking about that 'shrinking the penis' action when you go to stand up and holding it until you get to the loo, Try and hold it in for a few seconds before you release it. Urine flow is fairly slow for the first week or so but by week 3 you will be peeing like a horse!

On a more sensitive note, the penis is shorter after the op - not sure yet by how much as after 4 weeks there is no sign yet of an erection although I have started to be able to make my penis twitch which is a positive side and although penetrative sex is completely out of the question, I randomly discovered that you don't need an erection to achieve an orgasm - it's quite an interesting experience as it's a dry orgasm (although you may release a little urine if your bladder isn't empty) but it was one heck of a relief to know that something is still possible.

Meeting the consultant to get histology reports on the 24th so fingers crossed.

I hope that helps a bit - as I said, that was my experience and others may have been different - I'm 62 and 15 stone for comparisons.

 

hope your meeting on 24th is positive Steve 🤞

User
Posted 07 Jun 2023 at 14:14

Thanks Steve for your honest account of your experience on this, I appreciate it.

I am so grateful to everyone for their help and suggestions.

Next thing...Saturday here we come!  I'll be back to post any updates and probably ask for more advice :)

I hope the 24th goes well for you Steve 👍

Take care,

Tulippy 🌹 x

 
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