8 Facts Every Man Should Be Aware Of Before Prostate Cancer Surgery

February 19,2020 |

The prostate is a golf-ball sized reproductive organ that surrounds the urethra and contributes to seminal fluid.3 It’s found only in males and continues to grow as you age. In some instances, it grows very large and can lead to problems, such as in the case of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In other cases, cells can mutate and cause cancerous conditions. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men aside from skin cancer and it’s estimated that one in six men will be diagnosed with it at some point in their lifetime.3 While anything cancerous is scary to think about, prostate cancer has a very high rate of curability. If you get diagnosed with prostate cancer, your doctor will likely perform surgery to remove the prostate and any subsequent cancer cells. To be more prepared for this situation, here are 8 facts every man should know before prostate cancer surgery.

Important Things to Know About Prostate Cancer Surgery

If you find out that you have prostate cancer, surgery is one of the best ways to eradicate the disease. Prostate cancer recovery can be approached from many different angles, but surgically removing your prostate before the cancer spreads will increase the possibility of a cure and allow you to move forward living your life. If you need prostate cancer surgery, talk to your doctor about your questions and concerns.

  1. Prostate Cancer is Common

    While the thought of any type of surgery can be scary, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Prostate cancer is extremely common, which means that doctors are well trained in prostate cancer surgery. Roughly 3 million American men are living with prostate cancer and there are hundreds of thousands of prostate cancer surgeries performed every year.1 Don’t feel embarrassed to ask questions and talk to your doctor about any concerns you have with prostate cancer surgery. Your doctor is there to help you through this time and understands the difficulties in a cancer diagnosis.

  2. It’s Easily Cured When Caught Early

    While there are 3 million American men living with prostate cancer, it has close to a 99% cure rate.1 The key to making a full recovery from prostate cancer is catching it as early as possible. It is one of the most curable types of cancers when caught early, but as it becomes more aggressive it gets harder to cure. Early detection through regular screenings save lives. The best way to ensure that you catch any problems or signs and symptoms of prostate cancer before it becomes aggressive is to regularly see your urologist or doctor. Every male should start getting regular, yearly screenings once they turn 50.1 If you have a family history of prostate cancer, or any risk factors, doctors recommend that you begin your regular screenings as early as 40 to increase your chances of early detection.1

    The screening tools used to detect prostate cancer are constantly evolving and diagnostic tools are better than ever. Talk to your doctor about diagnostic testing and how to better understand and cope with your prognosis.

  3. Surgical Pain is Minimal

    Luckily, the pain that’s involved with prostate cancer surgery is fairly minimal in comparison to many other surgeries. A lot of men describe the pain as a muscle cramp similar to how it feels after you’ve done an excessive number of sit-ups and crunches.2 Most doctors have their patients take Advil for recovery as the pain is not severe enough for prescription pain killers. However, there are still a few people that may experience a more intense pain during the recovery process—it really depends on your body. Talk to your doctor about your options before going under the knife and always keep a strong line of communication during your recovery process.

  4. You’ll Want to Pack Accordingly

    After surgery, you’ll still be in your hospital gown but when it’s time to go home, you’ll need to change into your own clothes. To make sure that you’re comfortable and protecting the incision site, it’s important to pack accordingly. Bring loose fitting clothes like pajamas, sweatpants, or basketball shorts for when it’s time to head home so that you can accommodate the catheter and avoid putting added pressure on the surgical site.2 Your other post-op accessories will be needed for your follow up appointment, which we’ll discuss shortly.

  5. Recovery is Fast

    With that being said, prostate cancer surgery recovery is very fast. Most men go home the afternoon after surgery and start feeling back to themselves in a day or so.2 There are some people who might have a more challenging recovery and, in those cases, your hospital stay will be a little longer. Again, this depends on your body, health history, the presence of any underlying conditions, and more. During the surgery itself, there is almost no blood loss and very few men report any scarring at the incision site.2 After you recover, you’ll be back to your old self in no time. When you get home, you should be able to go back to your regular habits fairly quickly instead of being confined to a bed or chair for the duration of your recovery.2 Talk to your doctor about your specific recovery plan to make sure that you’re giving your body what it needs.

    The biggest pain that men report is from gas.2 To help alleviate gas pain and rid the body of gas buildups naturally, your doctor will have you walk around post-op in an effort to return your body to its natural rhythm.

  6. You’ll Need a Catheter Post-Op

    After your surgery, you’re going to be wearing a catheter. This allows your body to recover without putting any added pressure or stress on the surgical site. Don’t be afraid of getting a catheter. The catheter is usually inserted while you’re still asleep and is easy to change the bag out on your own. If you’ve never worn a catheter, you’ll find that you adapt to the feeling fairly quickly.

    Because of the catheter, you’ll wake up from surgery feeling a strong urge to urinate.2 This is normal and is your body’s reaction to the added pressure put on the bladder from the catheter.2 You don’t have to do anything, just focus on your recovery. Your bladder will empty on its own into the catheter bag. You’ll need to wear your catheter for a little while post-op and eventually return to your doctor’s office to have it removed. This usually happens about one to two weeks after your surgery but varies based on the person and the surgery.2 Your doctor will let you know when to return for catheter removal, but make sure you ask about any self-catheterization needs in the meantime.

  7. Bring the Right Products to Your Follow Up

    When you go to your doctor for your follow up and to remove the catheter, you’re going to want to have some incontinence products on hand. Don’t be alarmed, this isn’t going to be a long-term requirement, but immediately after catheter removal you’re going to be leaking.2 Men’s incontinence pads work well, but you’ll need to use them with cotton briefs, not boxers, to avoid any leaks.2 There are also options for compression style underwear that has built-in incontinence support. Talk to your doctor about your options before you leave the hospital after your surgery to give yourself time to prepare for your follow up. Most major retailers like Target and Walmart carry a wide variety of incontinence products or you can get them shipped discreetly to your home.

  8. Be Patient, Things Will Return to Normal

While recovery is fast, you’re still going to feel like you’re a little off for a while after surgery. You might experience leakage or incontinence for a few weeks or even months, but eventually it will get better.2 To help reduce the likelihood of leaks and incontinence issues, try to avoid bladder irritants and familiarize yourself with your incontinence products. Don’t be ashamed of using them! Your body needs time to adjust to its new normal and will eventually return to normal.

Conclusion

Even though prostate cancer is so common and often curable, it’s imperative that you diagnose it early. To make sure that you’re staying healthy schedule yearly appointments with your urologist or doctor for early detection screenings. If you need any urological supplies or educational resources, visit our educational support page or our product selection guide. Byram Healthcare is proud to offer full-service urological care and we have all the high-quality urological supplies that you need. If you need to order any urological supplies, all of your orders can be discreetly delivered to your home, at any time of the day. If you have any urological questions or need personalized, confidential services, our teams of knowledgeable urological customer service specialists are here to help.

Sources:

1 https://www.cityofhope.org/10-facts-all-men-should-know-about-prostate-cancer

2 https://www.urologyhealth.org/careblog/10-facts-every-man-should-know-before-prostate-cancer-surgery

3 https://www.uchealth.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2013/11/Five-Things-Every-Man-Should-Know-About-Prostate-Cancer_Week-1-Downloadable-Guide.pdf

 

 

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