Robot-Assisted Prostate Surgery: After Your Surgery

Immediately after the surgery you will be taken to the recovery room and transferred to your hospital room once you are fully awake and your vital signs are stable.

Hospital stay: The length of hospital stay for most patients is for approximately 23 hours. Typically, patients go home after lunch on the day after surgery.

Post-operative pain: While the procedure typically results in less pain than open surgery, you can expect to have some pain and abdominal soreness.

Most patients receive Toradol, an anti-inflammatory medication, every six hours for pain control. In addition, you may take Tylenol #3 as needed for pain.

Although not typically necessary, you may also receive narcotics by injection (pain shot) administered by the nursing staff.

You may also experience some minor transient shoulder pain (one to two days) related to the gas used to inflate your abdomen during the laparoscopic surgery. Most patients see a large improvement in their pain level on the second day after surgery.

Nausea: You may experience some nausea related to the anesthesia. Medication is available to treat persistent nausea.

Urinary catheter: You can expect to have a Foley catheter draining your bladder for approximately seven days after the surgery. This is a latex rubber tube inserted through your penis in the operating room while you are asleep. The catheter drains to a plastic bag that is connected to your thigh with an elastic strap. It is not uncommon to have blood-tinged urine for a few days after your surgery. You will receive catheter care instructions from your nurse in the hospital prior to discharge.

If you have any problems related to your catheter, it becomes dislodged, or stops draining urine, please contact the Urology Clinic at 254-724-2592 or call the urologist on-call after hours at 254-724-2111.

Only a urologist may manipulate or replace your catheter, if needed!

Diet: You can expect to have an intravenous catheter (IV) in overnight. (An IV is a small tube placed into your vein so that you can receive necessary fluids and stay well hydrated; in addition it provides a way to receive medication.)

Following surgery, the bowels will transiently "go to sleep." Most patients are able to tolerate ice chips and then clear liquids on the day of surgery. On the day after surgery, typically you can eat regular food.

Fatigue: Fatigue is common and afternoon fatigue is expected even several weeks beyond surgery. This is part of the body's normal healing process.

Incentive spirometry: You will be expected to do some very simple breathing exercises to help prevent respiratory infections through an incentive spirometry device (this will be explained to you during your hospital stay).

Coughing and deep breathing is an important part of your recuperation and help prevent pneumonia and other pulmonary complications.

Ambulation: On the day after surgery it is very important to get out of bed and begin walking with the supervision of your nurse or family member to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs.

You can expect to have SCDs (sequential compression devices) along with tight white stockings to prevent blood clots from forming in your legs.

Constipation: You may experience sluggish bowels for several days or several weeks. This is a combination of the surgery as well as the narcotic pain medicines. Suppositories and stool softeners are usually given to help with this problem. Taking stool softeners and mineral oil daily at home will also help to prevent constipation.

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