Prostate Cancer Survivors






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Re: da vinci surgery

thanks Alan. I just sent him a note.

Re: da vinci surgery

Just a couple of additions, what you may encounter. In my case I felt quite bloated for a couple days after the surgery and had difficulty getting a bowel movement. People told me to eat more, but being so bloated it just didn't seem right. I quit the pain meds on the next day after surgery to help with that. I've never had bowel issues, but I wasn't moving it for two days after the surgery. They want a good fart before they let you leave the hospital though. And my balls and penis were totally bright purple a couple days after the surgery. I had no significant catheter problems except you need to keep it lubricated where it exits the penis.

Kegels are a big help, it took me a couple of months to get full continence but you'll be faster because of starting them sooner. Of course you will take some time to fully recover, but just start working yourself back into shape as soon as you feel right about that.

Re: da vinci surgery

Thanks Bill: I just sort of assumed I would be on a mostly liquid diet for the week I am in a catheter. I know they will give me stool softeners to help with bowel movements but I figure if I am just on liquids, that might keep my pain to a minimum. I can't imagine how I might even fit on the toilet (comfortably) let alone attempt to push with any force. I guess I will find out in April!

Re: da vinci surgery

Take stool softeners for about a month. I stopped after a few weeks and it was a big mistake. Place a kleenix or toilet paper under the tip of your penis for bowel movements at first. Walk a lot to get rid of gas. You may experience no post surgery pain at all other than some gas pain early on - but you should probably take a little nap or lie down mid afternoon for a while as you tend to run out of steam. April is a great choice as you can recuperate in the improving weather. Get a bunch of books to read beforehand. That really helps. I treated it like a kind of vacation. Good luck.

Re: da vinci surgery KEGEL

Every Urologist and Surgeon has a different opinion on how to perform Kegel. Some will say do it at every opportunity you get, while shaving, driving etc. I went for PT and bio feedback to make sure I was doing it right. The physical therapist Says it important not to overdo, only exercise twice a day for about 5-6 mins.
Dr. Patrick Walsh in his book says only do Kegel when urinating. So as you can see everything about Prostate cancer is confusing. Why can't we get a straight answer?

Re: da vinci surgery (bowel movements - pre-and post surgery advice)

On the subject of bowel movements, Dr. Patrick Walsh of Johns Hopkins has this to say: the return of normal bowel movements happens much faster and with fewer complications if the bowels are empty when you undergo surgery. To help with this, he gives the following pre-and post surgery advice.

Before surgery, you should be sure that your bowels are moving well for about two weeks before the operation. To help with this, he recommends that you increase your daily intake of fiber, fruit, and liquids. He says that, if necessary, you should take a stool softener, or talk to your doctor about using a bulk laxative. During the day before surgery, you should stick to clear liquids. Then, on the night before surgery, take a laxative and don't eat anything after midnight. On the morning before surgery, give yourself an enema.

After you leave the hospital, the main thing is that you avoid becoming constipated. He talks about how it is essential that you have a bowel movement every day, but recognizes that for many men, this is easier said than done. He says to help keep things moving, you will probably be given stool softeners or laxatives for several days. He recommends mineral oil and milk of magnesia** if you do become constipated, and warns against using an enema because it could perforate your rectum. (This is because the prostate sits on top of the rectum, and when it's removed, this part of the rectum is thin, fragile, and particularly vulnerable to injury for the first three months after surgery).

**I wonder if his milk of magnesia recommendation was written before the days of OTC Miralax. This is what I was given prior to my colonoscopy, and it worked very well. My gastroenterologist recommended it to help with occasional constipation as well. Unfortunately, I had an allergic reaction to it so I was not able to continue to use it. Nothing I've tried since has worked as well.

Personally, when my time for surgery comes, this has the potential to be a problem for me because I am constantly struggling with maintaining my regularity. If I am stressed, anxious, or my daily routine is disrupted, my bowels do not move (and I can see where surgery would cause all of those things to happen). I'm currently taking the maximum dose of a fiber laxative, a probiotic capsule and two stool softeners a day, but still have problems. I have consulted with my gastroenterologist, and expressed my concerns about the surgery, but all he could say is that we will deal with it when the time comes since there is nothing physically wrong with me (not a great comfort). If any readers out there can identify with my condition and have successfully dealt with it, I would appreciate hearing your advice. You can reach me on the forum or e-mail me at In the meantime, I hope this post helps David and anyone else preparing for surgery.

Best Wishes,
Alan in the USA

Re: da vinci surgery (bowel movements - pre-and post surgery advice)

Before I had my HDR Braccytherapy I had to empty my bowels, after the procedure was finished I was quite constipated, my wife, an exercise consultant for pregnancy simmered some flaxseed in a little water for me, 24 hours later whoosh, all done and easy.
Worth a try.

Warwick in Oz

Re: da vinci surgery (bowel movements - pre-and post surgery advice)

Thank you Warwick for the information. I definitely think it is worth a try, but I'm going to need your wife's "recipe". In other words, could you find out from her what the ratio of flaxseed to water is so that I can prepare it correctly? Also, are there any other ingredients that need to be added to the mix? Lastly, I am not a cook, so I need to know what "simmered" means in terms of how long it is on the stove and at what temperature.

Also, when I have a really satisfying bowel movement that could be described as a "whoosh", in that it seems to clear out my system, I tend to be constipated again before my next movement. So, my question to you is did your wife's concoction help you to not only get, but also stay regular? In other words, did you use her recipe only once, or did you have to use it several times in order to achieve and maintain regularity?

Once I have your wife's recipe, I will try it out the next time I would otherwise reach for milk of magnesia. It makes sense to me to test it now, rather than wait until after surgery, just in case it does not work for me. I appreciate your help, and I will let you know how it works out.

Thank you,
Alan in the USA

Re: da vinci surgery (bowel movements - pre-and post surgery advice)

two tablespoons of linseed/flaxseed, one cup, 250ml, of water, bring to a simmer, slow boil, and wait until it becomes a grayish glutinous mass, let it cool and consume the lot, it is quite tasteless. Do this every day or second day and you will empty out without difficulty, I know I did!

warwick in Oz

Re: da vinci surgery

I had my Surgery on 2/7/2012 Not much pain, had a difficult time with #2 as you put it. I am still taking 2 stool softners a day. Drink a large glass of water in the morning and then a cup of Hot Decaf. Tea have light breakfast than walk around the house till you get the urge. Try to walk 6-7 times a day. Every doctor and book seems to recommend a different way to do KEGEL, I do 2 sets of quick flicks 10times, then do 10 second holds 10 times then 2 sets of 30 second holds. 2 times a day, thats a total of 84. Some books tell you to do hundreds. My P/T says this is wrong. Well good luck. Let me know how you make out and if you have any questions I'll try to give you my opinion and what I have learned. Phil k