Radical Prostatectomy

Radical prostatectomy is the most common surgery performed when cancer is confined to the prostate. The surgery involves removing the whole gland along with the tumour. This operation will involve a hospital stay of approx. a week and will entail some months of convalescence after the operation.

After surgery on your prostate a catheter will be left in place for a while. A catheter is a thin flexible tube which is passed through the urethra and into your bladder, where it is kept in place by a small balloon at its tip inflated with water. Its job is to drain urine into a collection bag, normally worn on the leg, in order to keep your bladder empty. The catheter may only be in place for a day or two following some procedures while for others it may remain in place for several weeks.

After the catheter is removed it may take several more weeks for things to settle down before your bladder returns to normal. During these weeks, or maybe months, it might be a good idea to use a form of absorbent pad or collection device in case of leakage. You can help your recovery by slowly returning to a normal diet and by making sure you are drinking enough fluids. It may be best not to drink too much tea, coffee or alcohol as these can all irritate the bladder. Over 3 or 4 weeks you can gradually return to normal, gentle exercise. However, you should avoid heavy lifting during this time.

Constipation should also be avoided as this can cause straining which would be bad for the area that has been operated on. It is not unusual for traces of blood to be present in the urine for a week or so after surgery on the prostate or for the urine to appear a little cloudy. However, if you experience burning or pain when passing water or if your urine is very cloudy or smells strongly, it is possible that you have urinary infection and you should consult your doctor.  You will probably be prescribed a course of anti-biotics to help clear the infection.