The average recovery time following a radical prostatectomy is between six and eight weeks, explains The Prostate Centre. However, it is common for patients to continue to experience tiredness after the recovery window ends. Patients must also avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for several months following the procedure.
Urinary catheters that are put in place during radical prostatectomy procedures are typically left inside the patient for approximately one to three weeks following surgery, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. Potential temporary side effects that patients often experience during the recovery period include urinary leakage and soreness at the incision site.
When patients are recovering at home, it is important to carefully wash the urethral opening twice daily with antibacterial soap to prevent infections and scarring, explains the University of Michigan Health System. Patients wearing catheters and urinary drainage bags should also make sure to clean the urinary connector caps with soap and water each time the bags are disconnected from the catheter.
Prostatectomy patients may also experience swelling of the scrotum, a common side effect following surgery that can be managed by wearing an athletic support cup and by elevating the scrotum when laying down, notes the University of Michigan Health System. In most cases, scrotal swelling resolves on its own within a week following surgery and does not cause pain or lead to complications.