Prostate Cancer Survivors






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Re: Side effects after surgery

You've had an inch and a half or maybe a bit more of your urethra removed. Necessarily, your old man is that much shorter. Mine certainly is, though my bladder came out too so the todger is a useless appendage. I knew I would experience the reduction and was not surprised. Shameful if your surgeon didn't tell you this.

OC in England

Re: Side effects after surgery

Hi Paul,

I was where you are back in 2008.
Yes you lose some of yourself inside you as the Urethra is shorter.
Its like a plumbing job really.
If you pull you can get some back temporary but looking at mine I have a surplus of foreskin!!.
It took me around five months in total to get continence back and I still wear "Always" panti liners in case of an odd little accident but that is no big deal.

Erection wise I lost it altogether.
Tried all the pills and injections to no avail.
Hard for me to come to terms with but I have now and hey I'm still here!!!!

Enjoy your life it is to short to worry about small things.


Re: Side effects after surgery

I had a RP three years ago and a stent was inserted to aid muscle strength in the urethra...problem is I was told of the stent immediately post surgery and forgot about it till I went to have a scan 15 months later and the stent was discovered...(shud have been removed within 2to3 months) it was removed but my incontinence never improved and wear pads now all the time( I use the large ladies Teena pad cut in half or the Teena 3 mens pad!!...but I do get the incontinence allowance to offset the cost annually) PSA has now climbed to 0.19 so looks like some treatment is necessary..will keep u advised. All the best.

Re: Side effects after surgery

I had my surgery in late 2008. No pain from operation, no incontinence at all, lost about 1 inch from erection, need Viagara to have sex...and it's not as good as prior. Golf game improved significantly. I believe that radiation has improved since 2008 to almost on par with removal, but I was just interested in staying alive.

Re: Side effects after surgery

Yes, penile shortening is widely experienced but little discussed, probably because it is little understood. Research focuses on aftereffects of all prostate cancer treatments that are more severe.
I find it hard to believe that penile shortening is simply because of the removal of 3 cm of the urethra. Think about a normal erection. The urethra stretches as much as twice that.
After my robot assisted prostatectomy and the catheter was removed, I noticed some shortening for at most a week. Chalk that up to healing from two weeks of surgical trauma.
A different problem is deterioration of the spongy vessels that fill with blood to support erections. Those corpora deteriorate without at least nocturnal erections keeping the tissue nourished. Rather than shortening in the flaccid condition, I experience curved erections(Peyronie disease). I could not afford the PDE5 inhibitor (Cialis)that the surgeon prescribed for rehabilitation. My insurance would not pay a few hundred for that,but would shell out several thousand for a prosthetic implant.
I suspect that long term loss of length may be a form of Peyronie's disease. The issue needs more attention. Body image is important. Reconstruction or sophisticated prostheses have become routine with breast cancer surgery.
The men's side needs to make a little more noise.
Wellness and happiness to all, _Bill

Re: Side effects after surgery

I agree with Bill. Doctors are under a lot of pressure to perform quickly and so "extra" steps that are deemed un-necessary by the ins. and medical industry guidelines are casualties along with the patient's best wishes. It is easier and quicker to just cut and tie off blood vessels than to restore proper blood flow to the now dysfunctional external organ. It could be done. If they can put new arteries in a beating heart,(Which I had done) they could certainly patch in few lines to restore proper blood flow to and from the penis. This wouldn't restore erectile status but preserving the penis "intact" in the soft state would go a LONG way toward establishing a better self image after loosing so much of one's manhood to the cancer. I don't pretend to know its purpose but I do know the entire dorsal venous complex is eliminated in the process. A lot of emphasis is put on not loosing a lot of blood during operations these days and is a sort of "report card" for surgeons in grading performance ability. I think there are times when this takes priority over the good of the patient's outcome and this "deflating" side effect may well be an example of that. I am pretty certain that if the medical industry, with all its knowledge, cared to take this seriously they could alleviate the problem. Jon R.

Re: Side effects after surgery

I don't know about 3cm being removed. From what I have read and understand, it depends upon the size of the prostate when removed. I got my doctor to admit he took out much more of my urethra than that due to the large size of my prostate. I experienced approximately 2.5 inches reduction in penis length not long after catheter removal. It is hard to know exactly what I lost because I experienced "buried penis" with a sensation that it was trying to pull in further and there was no more to give. I had accepted the possibility of loss of sex after surgery, but not such loss of flaccid length! When sitting down or bending over it was almost unbearable. My doctor recommended a penis pump or penis expander. The pump wouldn't pull it out. I used an expander and pulled it out to strap in. It caused pain to get it pulled out that long, and pain afterward in my gut. Did that actively for 2-4 hours daily for more than 10 months. After that a pump started to work. It now extends out better than 1" flaccid, but still "buries" when I sit. I have had several surgeries, including fusing disks in my neck. My neck surgery was a piece of cake compared to this. Don't get me wrong, I am glad to be cancer free at 14 months, but the side effects can extremely hard to live with. I have done a lot of research on many sites and you can always find someone worse off, but I am near the worst. There doesn't seem to be any good way to fix it. This information is glossed over by almost every site, but needs to be included in the possibilities for anyone looking at this surgery!

Re: Side effects after surgery

Paul, I hope your shortening is short lived. Mine was. You may be continent already. I was at 1 pad/day at 2 weeks, gradually to occasional stress leaks at 6 months. On troublesome days I use the wider super female pads. They provide more room to wander. My uro told me to expect 50% recovery of erection I had before. After 2-1/2 years It's there, but 50% of 50% isn't useful. If your surgeon Rx's Cialis or Viagra for rehab, use it. That at least wards off curvature. Vacuum devices tend to be a hassle and uncomfortable, but they also work.
Good Luck!

Re: Side effects after surgery

I can't say much about the return of erections as I was not able to have a nerve sparing procedure due to the extent of the disease - mine are gone forever. As for the penile shortening, Yes, this is a common side effect that very few are forewarned about. It is just one more shock we are forced to endure on our own. The medical industry is often in denial of this side effect for some reason, almost like they are ashamed to admit it happens. If it happens to you, you understand its impact and it is not such a minor deal after all else we have lost. My foreskin was harvested at birth but now it looks like I have one again since the little guy has backed up into his own skin. Maybe this won't be so permanent for those fortunate enough to have had a nerve sparing procedure. Two years post op here and no improvement. Good luck to all. J.R.