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    Radical surgery
    bill6935 posted:
    I had Gleason score 4/3 (7) and have scheduled surgery for 12 April. My doctor advised me that this would be the best treatment. I'm 72, in good health and physically fit. Right now I'm experiencing pre-op fear, I have not been able to sleep for longer then 20 minutes. Also, I am concerned about pain after the surgery. I've read two books so I understand the what the surgery entails.

    Any advice will be helpful
    billh99 responded:
    I had a radical prostatectomy 2 years ago at age 67.

    I did not have any real pain. Just some soreness in the gut the first few days in the afternoon after getting up and going up and down the stairs too many times.

    I had fairly quick recovery. Dry in about a 8-10 days after removal of the catheter and erections a week later.

    But while I did not have any pain it did take be about a 4-6 week before I felt that I have recovered full straighten.

    My recommendation to keep exercising upto the day of the surgery. Specially walking, biking, elliptical - things that work the hip and pelvic areas.

    And start practicing the kegal exercises now.

    As for the sleep, I found that taking Benadryl helps me sleep.
    bill6935 replied to billh99's response:
    Thanks for the info. My doctor gaave me an anti deprecent to help me sleep. Being retired military I think my problem stems from not being in control of this plus it's the first surgery for me.
    XavierLayh responded:
    hmm actually health is wealth .
    when i am OK than i am think positive
    cicero responded:
    My gleason score was also 7, and i'm scheduled for surgery on 10 April. I'm 68 and in good health other than the pc. not looking forward to the surgery, but my urologist offered that "doing nothing" would not be wise and that if i failed to act i'd have a problem in 5-10 years. my prostate is large, about 80 grams, so my surgeon recommended the traditional procedure rather than the robotic approach. like you, i'm hoping for the best...and for the first 10 days to be over.....good luck.
    bill6935 replied to cicero's response:
    At first I could not stop thinking about it. First it was anger then the nurse called and told me the date for the surgery. My first thought was,"holy crap", this is really going to happen! My doctor gave me some pills to calm me down and I could finally get some sleep. The two books they gave me and this web sight have been a great help in understanding this. I have a lot of faith in my surgeon, he's done over a thousand of these. The hardest part has been of my own making, thinking too much. After reading the books and discussions with three local people that have had the surgery, the only complaint I have heard about is discomfort with the catheter. I can live with a little discomfort. No one mentioned pain but all said they spent to much time thinking. Two things have been helpful: try not to spend to much time alone and keep busy. This should help improve your social skills and you will soon have the best looking yard in the neighborhood.
    shc5549 responded:
    I'll be 64, active and working full-time and healthy otherwise. My pathology report shows 50gm gland and climbing psa to10. 2 yrs ago psa jumped from 4 to 6, I did biopsy and they found precancerous tissue and monitored. Latest blood test 2 weeks ago the psa went to 8. Did another biopsy and there is now 10% low grade cancer in 1 of 12 samples, gr6. All of this has been within last 2 weeks after routine followup exam. Treatment options available, and I could avoid surgery and do treatments and deal with side effects and complications and live with it and possibly still have to remove later or have surgery now and remove and deal with potential complications that I'm sure you know about, but complications with any surgeries are a risk. I've decided to remove too and my surgery is to be scheduled in next few months.
    spanz responded:
    Well, sounds like me. A 4/3 is worse than a 3/4. In my case, the radioactive seeds were not recommended by the radiologist, as there was too much chance the cancer had spread. I was given a choice of prostatectomy or focused beam radiation for 6 weeks. I am younger (58) so I did not want any chance of recurrence 10 years down the line, so I decided on the surgery approach. I had the davinci nerve sparing surgery. Ended up loosing 30% of one nerve, 10% of the other nerve, and one of my lymph nodes. Dissection after surgery says the cancer was contained to the prostate gland, so I guess I could have also done the radiation and had similar results.

    The surgery....the actual surgery is not that bad. the external openings are very small and healed fast. The internal stuff--well you are going to have pain for at least 4 days after the surgery. I ended up having pain, at decreasing levels, for around 1 1/2 weeks. Then I had spasm-like pain...probably from the darned foley catheter. They even had to re-insert the cather at the 2 weeks point as I could not pee.

    Finally at 3 weeks the catheter is out, and I have not too much pain.

    In retrospect, constipation is a problem, so be REALLY careful what and how much you eat. You do NOT want to get constipated and have to strain to get anything out.

    You WILL be very tired from the operation. At 4 weeks, I still take a big afternoon nap. You will not feel like doing any work! You will be tired and lethargic, but once again it gets a little better every day.

    Work really hard at keeping that catheter clean, because I think the majority of spasm related pain is a result of mild grade urinary tract infections.

    Good luck! All things will pass.
    spanz replied to spanz's response:
    BTW, the good surgeons (the ones you want) are scheduled up to the hilt, so a couple month delay before surgery is the norm. I took a lot of lycopene, pomegranate extract, selenium, vitamin E, turmeric, luitein, genestein soy protein while waiting in an effort to slow any spread. Not sure if it helped or not, but internet reports on all of these show promise for stopping new prostate cancer growth.

    Of course, you need to stop all this stuff at least a week before your actual surgery!
    spanz replied to spanz's response:
    Another tip, you are going to want a cushion to sit on to keep pressure off of your urethra after the operation. I tried various donut shaped pillow, and they did not work that well without major modifications. I did find a pillow that has a big cut down the middle, from front to back, called a "bladder and prostate friendly chair cushion" that works very well. You want to get one!
    Tom2Bailey responded:
    Gleason 8, PSA 5.2, cancerous cells in 6% of 1 of 14 biopsy samples. Prostate removed on March 13th (daVinci), nerve sparing on one side, total removal on the other due to location of the tumor. Home on March 14th. Little real pain, even immediately after the surgery. Stopped taking narcotics (as needed) 4 days after surgery (likely could have stopped earlier), and stopped taking Tylenol about 12 days after surgery. The most pain was when a cough or sneeze or laughter caught me by surprise. Make certain the nurse shows the the technique of clutching a pillow to your abdomen.

    Strangest thing is the discomfort of gas movement as my bowels started again. I second the notion to be careful about what you eat so bowel movements don't result in straining. I used a small dose of stool softener to help out for about 3 weeks.

    Catheter out in 1 week, but it took another week for soreness to heal. I wish I had started my Kegel exercises early. Doing them too hard leads to soreness, too.

    I'm at 3 weeks after the surgery, still working in incontinence, but it is getting better. Using low Cialis dose, but no hints on getting past ED yet. Will have those discussions at my next follow-up.

    Listen to your body in the first few weeks, and give yourself permission to take time to heal.
    spanz replied to Tom2Bailey's response:
    the surgery itself is not too bad pain wise. The first day it does hurt a lot. 2nd day, much less. In fact I was off the narcotics after day 2. But I did have a lot of pain related to the catheter--spasms, lower back pain, etc. Tylenol helped a lot, and when I maxed out of my daily dose, I added Alleve.

    Hope it all went well!
    billh99 replied to spanz's response:
    My understanding is that typically the surgery pain is not bad, but bladder spasms can be sever.

    I did not have any at all.

    My neighbor had them real bad.
    jameshodge responded:
    Different men heal from surgery differently but I think that everyone would agree that taking a prostate supplement would speed up the healing process. Reading super beta prostate testimonials made me think about how important supplements are especially after a major surgery. Of course I'd ask for permission from your doctor but I'm sure he'll probably want to recommend it anyway.
    billh99 replied to jameshodge's response:
    What good is supplement for the prostate when the person no longer has a prostate.

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