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What's Recovery Really Like For Prostatectomy? < 60 yr old and fit, Retzius Sparing Robotic Surgery

In a month I've got a Retzius Sparing Robotic Prostatectomy with Lymph Node Dissection coming up. I'm 53, lift weights and bike a lot and am in great physical shape. 2 years ago I had an umbilical hernia repair (first surgery) and realize that was nothing (a 20 min surgery under propofol) compared to what I'm about to go through. With the hernia surgery, I had moderate-high abdominal pain for 4-5 days following surgery that I took lowest dose Oxycodone once or twice a day for the first 3 days and then Tylenol was fine after that. I could sit on the couch and do work on my laptop the whole time although was a bit tired and so about 2/3 as productive as I'd normally be.

I'm glad to be getting a Retzius Sparing surgery from one of the top Surgeons/Urologists in the world (Dr. Daniel Lin at University of Washington) as I've ready the continence recovery is faster using that technique amongst different approaches using the robot, it's just most technically challenging so many surgeons don't use that approach. He said most his patients like me that are young with good urinary function, they take the catheter out at 1-week, and I make have some leakage when coughing, straining, laughing, for another 2-3 weeks. The continence recovery time can be highly personal based on age, urinary function and surgeon skill. One surgeon I spoke to just said 90% of his patients were continent at 1 year and he'd be crazy to promise anyone any shorter time (the classic under promise and over deliver - smart guy.)

I'm increasing my weight lifting and cardio so I'm practically in Triathalon shape right before surgery. I'm guessing I'll be wiped out and not able to do any significant amount of work at least the first 2 or 3 days??? (I'm self employed and work from home.) I've ready many people take 2 weeks off work.

I'm just trying to get the most realistic expectation on what the recovery is going to be like as far as be able to get some work done and walk around the house and up stairs? Am I going to want to pretty much sleep most of the day for a week? Will I not be able to walk a mile until at least 3 weeks?

I'm in no hurry to get back on my bike or lift weights, I'm not a professional athlete (LOL). Maybe a good question is, how long do you think it will take before I'm comfortable getting in the car and doing a Grocery Store/Costco run?

  1. Has anyone recommned Pelvic Floor therapy (Kegels) to you? I have read many times, that starting on that in advance of surgery can help a lot in your recovery. See Becca Ironside's articles on this site. Don't hesitate to message her. She is a great advocate!

    1. We agree, ! Becca is a wonderful resource. -Samuel, Team Member

  2. I was not in as good a shape as the OP, and a bit older. I was 63 when I went thru the DaVinci robotic surgery. And I absolutely must second the advice mentioned above. I started Kegel exercises 3 weeks in advance of my surgery and glad I did. I was completely dry by the 6th week following surgery !

    1. Don't worry about post op pain. When I left the hospital the day after surgery they gave me an Rx for some pain meds, I had it filled but never used. If I took a Tylenol it was once. Everyone recovers differently, but aside from the catheter you're forced to drag around for several days I had absolutely no problems and I was/am a lot older than you.

      1. As others have stated, everyone reacts different but I had the DaVinci Robotic surgery as well and the pain was tolerable without the highlevel meds like Oxi. Good luck with everything and prayers to you.

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