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After Cryosurgery for Prostate Cancer

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.


After cryosurgery,

the catheter placed during surgery to drain urine will stay in place for up to 3 weeks after surgery. You may instead have to replace the catheter each time you need to urinate. You should expect to have some swelling and bruising and to feel sore where the probes went into your body. This is normal and should not last long. You may have trouble urinating or see blood in your urine for several days. You may have trouble having a bowel movement because of swelling that happens after the surgery. These are normal and should go away on their own.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

Seek care immediately if:

Call your doctor or surgeon if:


Care for the surgery area:

When you are allowed to bathe or shower, carefully wash around the area with soap and water. Do not scrub the area. Let the soap and water run over the area. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. You may also have swelling and bruising in your perineum, scrotum, or penis. Your perineum is the area between the anus and penis. Apply ice packs or crushed ice in a plastic bag to reduce the swelling. Wrap the bag in a towel before you apply it to the area.

Bladder care:


You will not be able to lift anything heavy for 72 hours after your surgery. You may be able to return to work and exercise in 3 to 10 days. This will depend on the number and size of the incisions that are made by your healthcare provider during surgery. Your activity may also be limited if you go home with a urinary catheter. Do not drive for at least 24 hours after surgery.

Do pelvic floor exercises as directed:

The exercises squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and help them become stronger. To do pelvic floor exercises, squeeze your muscles like you want to stop urinating. Hold for 3 seconds and then relax. Ask your healthcare provider when to start doing these exercises, and how often to do them.

Sexual activity:

Ask when you can start to have sex again. After cryosurgery, you may have problems such as trouble having an erection. These problems may not last long and most can be helped. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have concerns.

Do not smoke:

Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage and increase your risk for new or returning cancer. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.

Follow up with your doctor or surgeon as directed:

Ask when to return to have your wound checked, catheter taken out, or stitches removed. Ask if you need to have radiation therapy and when you need to return for the treatment. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.