Your recent prostate surgery requires very special post hospital care. Despite the fact that no skin incisions were used, the area around the prostate surgery is quite raw and covered with a scab to promote healing and prevent bleeding. Certain precautions are needed to insure that this scab is not disturbed over the next two to three weeks while the healing proceeds.
Because of the raw surface around your prostate and the irritating effects of urine, you may experience frequency of urination and/or urgency (a stronger desire to urinate) and perhaps even more getting up at night. This will usually resolve or improve slowly over the healing period. You may see some blood in your urine over the first six weeks. Do not be alarmed, even if the urine was clear for a while. Stay in bed and drink lots of fluids until clearing occurs.
You may return to your normal diet immediately. Because of the raw surface, alcohol, spicy foods and drinks with caffeine may cause some irritation or frequency and should be used in moderation. To keep your urine flowing freely and to avoid constipation, drink plenty of fluids during the day (eight to 10 glasses).
Your physical activity is to be restricted, especially during the first two weeks. During this time use the following guidelines:
- No lifting heavy objects (anything greater than 10 pounds).
- No driving a car and limit long car rides.
- No strenuous exercise; limit stair climbing to minimum.
- No sexual intercourse until OK'd by one of your doctors.
- No severe straining during bowel movements. Take a laxative, if necessary
It is important to keep your bowels regular during the post-operative period. The rectum and the prostate are next to each other and any very large and hard stools that require straining to pass can cause bleeding. You will usually be given stool softeners but these are not laxatives. A bowel movement every other day is reasonable. Use a mild laxative, if needed (two to three tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia or two Dulcolax tablets, for example), and call if you are having problems.
You should resume your pre-surgery medication unless told not to. In addition, you will often be given an antibiotic (to prevent infection) and stool softeners. These should be taken as prescribed until they are finished, unless you are having an unusual reaction to one of the drugs.
Problems you should report to us
- Fevers over 100.5 Fahrenheit
- Heavy bleeding or clots (See above notes on blood in urine.)
- Inability to urinate
- Drug reactions (hives, rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
- Severe burning or pain with urination that is not improving
You will need a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress. Call for this appointment at the above number when you get home or from the phone in your hospital room before leaving. The first appointment will usually be about seven to 14 days after your surgery.