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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A retropubic prostatectomy is surgery to remove your prostate gland.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or specialist as directed:
You may need to return to have your Foley catheter removed. You may need to return to have blood tests or to have your prostate checked. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Foley catheter care:
A Foley catheter is a tube put into your bladder to drain your urine into a bag. Keep the bag of urine well below your waist. Lifting the urine bag higher will make the urine flow back into your bladder, which can cause an infection. Do not pull on the catheter. This may cause pain and bleeding, and the catheter may come out. Do not let the catheter tubing kink, because this will block the flow of urine. Ask for more information about how to care for yourself when you have a Foley catheter in place.
After surgery, you may leak urine and have trouble controlling when you urinate. Ask for more information about the following ways to help decrease urine leakage:
- Avoid caffeine: Caffeine can cause problems with bladder control and increase your need to urinate.
- Do pelvic floor muscle exercises: Pelvic floor muscle exercises may help improve your bladder control, if you leak urine. These exercises are done by tightening and relaxing your pelvic muscles. Ask how to do pelvic floor muscle exercises, and how often to do them.
- Limit your liquids: Drink smaller amounts of liquid throughout the day. Do not drink before bedtime. Ask if you should decrease the amount of liquid you drink each day. This may help you control your bladder.
- Wear a pad or adult diapers: These may help to absorb leaking urine and decrease the odor.
After surgery, you may have trouble controlling when you have a bowel movement. You may regain control of your bowel movements over time. Ask what you can do to increase control and decrease the risk for leaks.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or specialist if:
- You have a fever.
- You cannot control your bowel movements.
- You cannot get an erection.
- You have bright red blood in your urine, or your urine is cloudy and smells bad.
- Your surgery wound is red, swollen, or has pus coming from it.
- Your urine stream becomes slower than normal, or you are urinating only small amounts.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You are leaking more urine than usual.
- You have new trouble moving your legs.
- You have pain in your lower abdomen or pelvic area that does not go away even after you take pain medicine.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.