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    How much time off work post-surgery
    steelerr posted:
    Hi all, This my first post. I have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer. My prostate cancer is StageT1C, Gleason Score is 3+3. PSA moved from 0.77 to 4.77 since last year. My age is 51. Only one of 12 biopsies showed cancer cells. My urologist is recommending perianal removal of my prostate. My question is: How long should I plan to be off of work? I work at a computer all day - no physical activity at work. I've heard anything from 2 to 6 weeks. That's a pretty broad range. Thanks, Bob Steele a.k.a. steelerr
    Galileo1962 responded:
    I took 3 weeks off, but I could have done 2. Like you, I sit at work most of the time. As soon as you're free of the catheter you'll probably feel fine being back at work. Gleason 3+3, 1out of 12 samples? I would have those samples sent to a lab that specializes in prostate cancer, like Bostwick, for a second opinion. There is a lot riding on this biopsy. I think you mean "perineal" prostatectomy, where the prostate is removed through an incision in the perineum (area between scrotum and anus). Perineal is not as common as retropubic prostatectomy (where it it removed from your lower abdomen). My understanding of the perineal procedure (reading for example) is that it's not as common as retropubic, and that it's more difficult for the surgeon to preserve the nerve bundles necessary for erections. Lymph nodes cannot be removed for examination. On the other hand, there are advantages--lower blood loss potential, and faster recovery without the abdominal incision. John (aka az4peaks) would know more about this than I. I recommend "Patrick Walsh's Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer" (2007 ed.)--an excellent "owner's manual" for the prostate, as well as websites like Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Prostate Cancer Infolink ( ), and the Prostate Cancer Foundation ( ). Best of luck.
    aus62 responded:
    As suggested, the biopsy slides should be sent for a 2nd reading. These readings are subjective, and what looks like cancer to one person might look normal or a different grade to an expert pathologist. Also obtain a print out of the report, as there's additional information like the % of cancer in positive sample(s). Recovery time can vary depending on the skill of your surgeon, which is a more important consideration than the method employed. Selection of a top surgeon will give you the best chance of a faster recovery time with good prognosis, whether open or robotic surgery is used. Physical work or heavy lifting within 6 weeks can be counter productive, as it is major surgery even if a good surgeon can have his patient out and about within a week.
    iam144 responded:
    Hi Bob, My situation is very similar to yours. Same kind of diagnosis, I'm 2 years older than you and I work at a computer all day. My urologist performed a radical retropubic prostectomy on Tuesday, Jan 6th and I was back working on Monday Jan 12th. I'm fortunate enough to telecommute, so I'm working from home for a while. There are 2 things that you probably need to be aware of. The first one is sitting in a chair. I found that sitting down produced pressure in the paratenium, just in the area where your urologist is going to cut. I'd let him know that you sit at a desk and you might opt for the retropubic operation. Secondly, there's the Foley catheter. That will be your constant "friend" for at least 2 weeks post surgery so that your urethera doesn't close up where it's severed and reattched. If you go into your office, be aware that if they give you a leg bag, you probably should empty it every hour or so. I drink a lot of water to combat the dry-mouth side effect of the ditropan. I'm sure that the high-end of 6 weeks applies to guys who do a lot of physical work. Remember, the best way to recover quickly is to get out an walk, walk, walk. Good luck.
    steelerr responded:
    Thanks for the reply "Galileo1962". i will definitely follow up on a 2nd opinion, both on the pathology and on my urologist's surgery recommendation. I have a printed copy of the pathology, but I guess I'll have to ask for the slides. Or is a photo of the slide? And you were right - I meant to say "perineal". I apperciate the links, too. Peace, steelerr
    steelerr responded:
    Hi aus62 - thanks for the reply. My diagnosis says on the one 'positive' core sample, "ADENOCARCINOMA, GLEASON GRADE 3+3, INVOLVING 33% OF BIOPSY CORE" My urologist said' "You can get a 2nd opinion on the pathology, but I trust her completely." So, I had considered skipping the 2nd. Probably not too wise, huh? Thanks again. Peace, steelerr
    matthewsti responded:
    Steelerr, I had the robotic prostatectomy procedure 2 years ago and it took 6 months before I returned to work. No one can estimate how long you will need to recover just like no one (the dr) can tell you how horrible the whole procedure and recovery will be. You need to be prepared and understand that nothing (erections, urination, orgasms) will never be the same again. The only thing my dr advised me of was that I would no longer ejaculate. You need to know you will probably suffer from ED (erectile disfunction) and may never have another orgasm again for the rest of your life. No one wants to tell you that pre surgery. All my dr would say post surgery after I had all these problems was that each person is different and no one can predict what the outcome will be. I did not want a prediction just a heads up on what could possible happen.
    Zen9 responded:
    I have an office job where I spend much of the day sitting at a computer terminal. Getting back to work was a process - I started at about 2 months with 1-2 hours at the office, am now at about 7-8 hours after 5 months. Everyone is different! Do not listen to people who tell you what their (or their father's, brother's, uncle's, etc.) experience was. Yours will be different - maybe better, maybe worse, maybe both ... but definitely unique. Zen9

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