What should I expect after surgery?
Eating and drinking
After prostate cancer surgery, you will be hospitalized for approximately 2 to 3 days. You will begin to drink fluids shortly after the procedure and will be allowed to eat solid food thereafter.
Drains & dressings
You will have a dressing covering your abdominal incision. The doctors and nurses will be checking your dressing frequently for drainage. Once the dressing is removed, the doctors and nurses will be checking the incision to see how it is healing. The drains will usually be removed in one to 2 days. You will be sent home with a catheter draining urine from your bladder into a bag. It is normal for the urine to look bloody for several days after surgery. The skin incision is closed with absorbable sutures so there is no need to return to the doctor for removal of clips or sutures. The catheter will be removed in your doctor’s office or at the hospital approximately 5 to 14 days after you are discharged from the hospital.
It is normal to experience pain at the site of the incision after surgery. Immediately after surgery, patients are usually given either .epidural. morphine (morphine that is given continuously through a small catheter which is inserted during surgery into the spinal canal) or continuous infusion intravenous morphine (.patient controlled analgesia.). Both methods of pain relief work extremely well in patients with post-operative pain. Pain may also be minimized by administration of anti-inflammatory medication, ketrolac, which may decrease pain considerably and diminish the need for either epidural or continuous infusion morphine.
Finally, before you are discharged, you will be given an oral pain medication. You will also be given a supply of these to take at home as needed. Make sure to inform your doctors of any allergies you may have to narcotics such as codeine, morphine, etc. Except for the epidural or intravenous morphine, which is given continuously for the first couple of days, pain medications are usually given on an as needed basis, so be sure to ask your nurse to medicate you if you are in pain.
Do not wait for the pain to become severe before asking for something to relieve it. If you feel you are not getting adequate pain relief, please feel free to discuss this with your nurse or doctor. Each person’s experience of pain is different and although we may not be able to completely eliminate all of your discomfort, we want you to be as comfortable as possible after your surgery.
Initially, your nurse will assist you in doing a daily sponge or bed bath. Showers are permitted after the dressings have been removed, usually within 2 or 3 days. You should let the water run over the incision rather than scrub it initially. Pat the incision dry. The incision was closed with absorbable sutures and .steri-strips.. These strips will begin to peel off in 7 to 10 days. If they have not, you may remove them after 10 days. Ask your nurse or doctor when you can bath again.