In order to prevent complications, such as pneumonia and blood clots, you will be encouraged to do three things as soon as possible after prostate cancer surgery: walk, use your incentive spirometer (a small disposable device which encourages deep breathing), and do your leg exercises. The nurses will instruct you on how to use the spirometer and do leg exercises, and will assist you in walking after surgery until you can manage on your own. You may also may be given support stockings to wear until you are discharged from the hospital.

Going home: what to expect

Diet and exercise

It is normal to feel tired for several weeks after your surgery . Make sure someone drives you home from the hospital. Get plenty of rest, eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of protein and iron, and do some light exercise (such as walking) every day. Do *not* do any heavy lifting (more than 10 to 20 pounds) or strenuous exercise for 3 weeks following surgery. You can increase your exercise schedule gradually thereafter. Light exercise such as walking, jogging, stretching should be done initially. Golf or tennis can be played within 2 to 3 weeks. If you feel comfortable, you can increase your activity. Heavy abdominal exercise such as sit-ups as well as cycling on an upright bicycle should be avoided for 6 weeks. Driving is usually permitted after the catheter is removed if you feel comfortable. It is important that you do exercise that you feel comfortable with. Any activity that causes pain should be avoided.

Caring for the incision

The incision runs from above the base of the pubic area to below the navel. The key words here are .clean. and .dry.. Showering once a day should do it. If you notice extreme or increasing tenderness, progressive swelling, more than a small amount of drainage (i.e. teaspoon), or any pus or redness, notify your doctor right away.

Going home with a catheter

You will be discharged from the hospital with a catheter in place to drain urine from the bladder into a bag. The doctor will remove this in the office in 5 to 14 days. Be sure to clean the catheter where it exits your penis twice a day with soap and water and to empty the bag frequently.

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