POST RADICAL PROSTATECTOMY SURGERY INSTRUCTION SHEET
Your catheter is very important to allow healing of the bladder and the urethra. You may use either leg bags or external bags. Drain urine from the bag before it gets too full. The tip of the penis may get sore from the catheter rubbing. Use plain soap and water to wash this area daily or more often as needed.
You may return to your normal diet immediately. Because of the raw surface in the bladder from the surgery, alcohol, spicy foods and drinks with caffeine may cause some irritation or sense of the need to void despite the fact that the catheter is emptying the bladder. However, if these foods don’t bother you there is no reason to avoid them in moderation. More importantly is to keep your urine flowing freely, drink plenty of fluids during the day (8 – 10 glasses). The type of fluids (except alcohol) is not as important as the amount. Water is best but juices, coffee, tea, and soda are all acceptable. Food rich in protein will aid in wound healing. Fluid, fiber, and fruits in your diet will help prevent constipation. Follow dietitian recommendations if instructed.
Your physical activity is to be restricted, especially during the first two weeks home. During this time use the following guidelines:
a. No lifting heavy objects (anything greater than 15 lbs).
b. No driving a car and limit car rides to short distances.
c. No strenuous exercise, limit stair climbing to minimum.
The rectum and the prostate are next to each other and any very large and hard stools that require straining can cause bleeding. You will be given stool softeners (usually) but these are not laxatives. A bowel movement every other day is reasonable. Use a mild laxative if needed and call if you are having problems. (Milk of Magnesia 2-3 Tablespoons, or 2 Dulcolax tablets as example)
You should resume your pre-surgery medication unless told not to. You may be discharged with iron tablets to build up your blood count and stool softeners to keep the stool soft. Pain pills (Vicodin or Percocet) may also be given to help with wound and catheter discomfort. Tylenol (aceto-amenophen) or Advil (Ibuprofen) which have no narcotics are better if the pain is not too bad (and you can tolerate those medications!)
You may shower 2 days after surgery. No tub bathing or swimming until the Foley catheter is removed.
PROBLEMS YOU SHOULD REPORT TO US:
- CALL IMMEDIATELY IF THE CATHETER FALLS OUT OR STOPS DRAINING.
- Any increase in redness, or swelling in the incisional area.
- If feeling chilled or feverish, take temperature and report if over 100.5 degrees.
- Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal distention.
- Persistent constipation, diarrhea, or blood in stool.
- Pain not relieved by pain medication and rest.
- Difficulty, frequency, or burning with urination.
- Drug reactions (Hives, rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea).
- Bleeding from incision(s)
You will need a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress. Call for this appointment when you get home or from the phone in your hospital room before leaving. Usually the first appointment will be about 7 days after your surgery to check the wound and review the pathology.