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Surgery scheduled Oct 19, 2009

jhagerup
Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi all - just joined this network. I have surgery scheduled for Oct 19, 2009 with daVinci in Grand Rapids MI, St Mary's hospital. My Dr has done over 200 of them. My cancer is early (gleason 6, only a small portion found in the biopsy). I'm most concerned about incontinence (and post surgery constipation) and have been doing Kegals. However, I have heard mixed suggestions on the topic of holding pee stream to exercise Kegal before surgery. One person said it's not a good idea, Dr says it is good to get the bio feedback. Any thoughts on that or, more important, thoughts on what I should do to prepare for the surgery. Thanks very much, Jim

txbarton's picture
txbarton
Posts: 80
Joined: Aug 2009

Jim,

I hate to see you here as I hate to see any of us here but this is a very compassionate and, regretably, experienced group.

My daVinci surgery is scheduled for this coming Wednesday in Austin, TX with a surgeon that has done the procedure >1700 times. He is adamant about the benefit of kegels, for improving incontinence and impotency. He describes the way of making sure you are doing them correctly is to cut off your urine in mid-stream (bio feedback?). I haven't heard any comments about them being other than beneficial. Someone mentioned you can overdo them but I have been doing several hundred a day for over a month and don't see any negative issues. I'm sure you will get more comments from the group.

Good luck.

VB

jhagerup
Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 2009

Wow - that's a lot of surgeries. The best we have around here is 200-300, but I've heard that's the minimum so I feel reasonably good about it. Thanks for the welcome.

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

Also sorry to see you have joined our club but welcome aboard. I had my Davinci surgery in Aug. and doing very well. I did Kegels before surgery and also walked, walked, walked. Also went on a diet an lost weight. I eliminated all caffeine from my diet before and post surgery. I have been 99.9% dry post surgery. Did all this help? I won't really know the answer but I believe it did along with the skill of my surgeon. I just turned 55 in Sept.

Good luck with your surgery and keep us update.

Larry

jhagerup
Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks - good to hear you're recoving well.

NM
Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi and I am also sorry to see you here,but here you can gain a wealth of info from many experienced men who have gone down all roads towards their cancer cure. I have no issues with incontinence and wasnt really vigil about doing kegels. I think cutting off and starting while urinating helped me a lot but I really dont know. I started weight lifting about 6 weeks prior to surgery but did that matter, dont honestly know. The best advice I can give you is trust your doctor but still question everything your not clear on.

Hope this helps but please read my posts and Larrys and Sonnys and others and they should help you immensely.

Good luck and god bless you on your surgery....Nick

Age 52
5 of 6 cores positive for cancer @ 50-100% Perinural invasion present in all positive cores.
Path report came back no positive margins so you never know every man is different
Psa was 7 after antibiotics for 30 days PSA was 5.7
Waiting on first post surgery PSA test and hoping and praying its ok

.

jhagerup
Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 2009

The margin terminology confuses me a bit - I understand what margin is but is positive or negative good? Thanks.

NM
Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

You want NO positive margins which is the same as a negative margin. Positive margins increases the chances of the cancer leaving the prostate. Hope this clears it up a bit
Nick

WHW's picture
WHW
Posts: 189
Joined: Jul 2009

Jim,

I would like to offer my own personal experiences regarding your questions.

Like you I had re-searched all things PCa before my surgery. I questioned my Dr. about continence and ED prior to my surgery. The answers seemed to make sense from a physical nature. Both issues concern muscles. It is like working out with weights. Use it or lose it.

Pre-surgery I practiced Kegels whenever I thought about it. Sitting watching TV, at stop light, etc. I also practiced stopping and starting the flow. I just wanted to know going into surgery that the muscles were strong but not over-used. I admit that I also worked out with the ED muscles and blood flow as much as possible before surgery as well.

As relates to constipation and intestine issues; my Dr.s staff gave me a post-surgery diet to plan for to relieve these issues. They explained in details the reasons for the distress following surgery. It made sense to me that if I started this diet before surgery it might help and could not hurt.

The third part of my plan was to prepare for the W&W, water and walking. Their plan called for me to drink at least 8 glasses (64 ounces) of water per day and walk as much as I could following surgery. Two weeks prior to my surgery I began this plan. I tried to drink 100 ounces a day and took walks at least four times per day.

Following surgery I had absolutely no issues with constipation or bloating. Two hours after coming to my room from recovery I was up and walking the halls. The next day after release I started walking the 1/4 mile parking lot. I walked at least 4 times a day, at 2-3 trips around the lot each time. I had bought a few cases of water for recovery. My goal was to drink at least 5 (16 ounce)bottles per day.

I never had any intestinal distress and was passing out the gas and started BMs the day after release. My catheter was removed 6 days after surgery and I have been dry ever since. I am now 2 weeks 4 days post surgery.

Was it the expertise of my surgeon? Was it their plan? Or was it the fact that I put it into place two weeks before the surgery? I will never really know.

All I do know is that it worked. My preparation did not hurt and it certainly may have been a big part of my recovery. I do know that I am thankful that my recovery was almost a non-event, was without severe pain that required meds and I am moving forward.

So glean what you can use from this. Be proactive and be prepared. The attitude and confidence you take into the surgery is the way you will come out.

Every day is a bonus, use it serve you.

Blessings to you and your family and good luck with your surgery. See you on the other side.

Sonny

jhagerup
Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 2009

Sonny - Thanks for your detailed response & welcome to the board. I will definitely take your advice. I'm two weeks away from surgery at this point and I decided that I will try to run a couple miles a day so everything is in good shape leading in to surgery. I already drink about 50 oz of water a day but I should probably increase that.

It's also good to hear that you came out so well. What a blessing.

A question - I work in an office (nothing too stressful) but my Dr said to stay home for 3 weeks. I know everyone is different but that seems like a long time away if things turn out as well for me as they did for you.

Jim

WHW's picture
WHW
Posts: 189
Joined: Jul 2009

Jim,

3 weeks isn't that long when you think about it. At least one week to 10 days may be with catheter. They will certainly warn you not to lift anything more than 20 pounds until 4-6 weeks following surgery.

This is no different that most abdominal surgery. No lifting, no vacuuming, no twisting and torqueing, nothing that will strain the abdominal area. You have a lot of complex stitching arrangements internally and the last thing you want to is to hose them up.

You made you decision on your dr because you have trust in him and have a comfort level with him; why go against his instructions on this?

Don't forget the pre-surgery diet. If you dr didn't give you the post surgery I'll be happy to scan and email you mine. Mine was presented to me by the nutritionist on my dr's staff in my pre-surgery interviews. Worked real well for me and they have a good track record for the absence of post surgery difficulties. If you want it let me know and I'll post my email here for contact.

Good luck,

Sonny

jhagerup
Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 2009

Sonny - I've had hernia surgery a couple years ago so I'm pretty familiar with abdominal surgery. Although I was able to get by OK, my hernia surgery included complications as they entrapped a nerve. It bugged me for about 12 months off and on (not horrible, but annoying). Now, 2 years later, it's pretty much gone, thank God.

I would like to get your pre-surgery diet if you could scan it - thanks much!

I already have my cath removal appointment (even before surgery) for 10 days post surgery. I hear that's a wonderful day for most people.

I imagine the first few days after surgery will be a little foggy, but I'm wondering about the rest of the 3 weeks. Were you able to do minor things like reading and entering comments in this board? Actually, maybe it's a little like a vacation? (I can only hope!).

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

Jim,
Everyone is different and it is hard to predict when you can return to work. I also work an office desk job. I could have probably gone back to work the start of week 5 post surgery. However My son had a wedding cruise that we were booked on so I didn't see any sense in going back to work then taking time off for a cruise. Don't think my boss would have let me! So I stayed out 7 weeks. Today is my first day back to work.

Keep drinking that water! While I had the catheter I really pushed the fluids and if I saw little clumps of stuff in the cath tube I drank more water! Also if it started turning a different color I drank more water!

Good luck on your surgery. I will be getting my first Post surgery blood work on Oct. 19th.

I have a positive margin so anxious to see what the PSA Post surgery will be.

Larry

pwiggins
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Jim -

I'm a 47 year old who had the robotic [Divinci] surgery this past Feb 26th. I wish I had known of this club before hand.

I agree with Sonny's comments about having a good feeling about your Doctor and asking the right questions. I had a PSA count of 4 and did research on whether to do external radiation or the surgery. After much deliberation and discussion with my wife I elected to have it removed. Surgery was on a Thursday morning @ 9 and was doing a little walking that evening and was discharged Friday afternoon. I very rarely needed to take any pain medication neither at the hospital nor home. The incisions [6] were small and I also had a drain which was removed when I left the hospital.

The biggest discomfort [but not pain] was the catheder which I had for a week. I drank alot of water and was given some stool softener during the time I had the cathered. A friend of mine who had the same procedure done 6 months before me sent me a donut to sit on which was a great help. I took the fist two weeks off then worked from home the third week just to make certain I didn't rush anything. After three from the surgery I did not have to wear any more diapers as I stayed dry through the day however, I did get a sheet to put underneath me at night just in case.

I found humor helped me during my experience and knowing the fact that there are many men who are going through or have gone through the same experience.

All the best to you and your family!

Peter

cottontop56
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Jim
Like Peter I just had my surgery last Thursday. I was up walking that afternoon. Not much pain. His comments and mine would be almost identical so I won't repeat anymore. I just wanted to wish you luck and let you know you are in my families prayers. Isn't this site Great? John

jhagerup
Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 2009

John - I certainly appreciate the prayers ! And the boating picture looks nice too.

jhagerup
Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 2009

Peter - Thanks for the additional tips - that's encouraging that diapers may not be needed after week 3 (although I know everyone is different)

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

I wouldn't worry about 'diapers'. If you do have leakage post surgery or what ever method you choose for treatment they have male pads that you can wear instead. They fit in the front of your underware and are shapped similiar to the 'cups' that athletes wear. They also have smaller mini pads. Take a look in the drug store and you can find the different types available. I was lucky and have been dry since getting my catheter out and used only 1 pad the first day. Ever since I've been dry. My surgery was on Aug. 12th 2009 and I'm 55.

Larry

jhagerup
Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 2009

Peter - Thanks for the additional tips - that's encouraging that diapers may not be needed after week 3 (although I know everyone is different)

NM
Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

when I went to have my catheter removed I stopped drinking all fluids about 6 hours prior and brought a pad with me. I wore the pad home as I didnt know what to expect. Dry when i got home and dry ever since

Nick

saoco
Posts: 43
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Jhangerup I will not like to welcome any one to this club,but help you in any way I can.
I was in another group,but unfortunaly it ended about four years ago.I notice that most of oue members are like new to this pc,by that I mean less than two years.I was 46 years when pc hit me.it first hit my father,me and my brother.My father pass away last June he was 89,but he did not died from pc.I had psa 4.5 and gleason (3+3)My psa has been 0.04 since surgery it has
been almost five years and I pray God to keep me like this and all of you at pas 0,0,0,0,0
you know what I mean.I like to be stray up in my advices and conversations about pc.
let start then, the surgery will take some things from you,you may or may not have some complication almost most people have.you do not say if you have wife and children I will assumed you do.The surgery gave me a chance to enjoy my family and be there for them and with the grace of God I Will be with them for many years.I do not care what the surgery took from me but I am thanful that I had been cancer free from the last five years and I will be for many years to come.and by the way what ever the surgery took from me it has giving it back
almost 90%.One last note,my brothe had the surgery about two years ago and had no complication at all gool luck.

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