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What is the recovery process for prostate surgery?

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Quick Answer

The recovery process for prostate surgery is dependent upon the type of prostate surgery that the patient has received, but generally includes a brief hospital stay, rest and pain medication for the first week at home, exercise and physical activity starting in the first week and building in the second week, removal of the catheter in the second week and physical therapy, according to Virginia Mason Medical Center. More specific instructions are provided to the patient by the hospital and doctor that performs the treatment.

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There are several different kinds of prostate cancer surgeries including transurethral resection of the prostate, radical prostatectomy, robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, radical retropubic prostatectomy and radical perineal prostatectomy, notes the American Cancer Society. Exact recovery guidelines will vary based on procedure. To begin with, most patients will spend 2 to 3 days in the hospital, notes the Virginia Mason Medical Center. Then patients will be sent home and asked to walk in short spurts throughout their home in the first week. After the first or second week, patients will attend physical therapy and have their catheters removed.

Patients may also be dealing with a urinary drainage bag. These are often removed in the hospital, but some patients have them at home for the first week, states the University of Michigan Health System. Patients will also need to wait several months before they have rehabilitated the area enough for natural sexual activity. An aide, such as Viagra, may be given as part of the recovery process to increase blood flow to the area and to help with sexual activity during recovery.

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