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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Laser prostatectomy is a surgery done to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy, also called BPH. BPH is not a type of cancer. BPH is a condition where the prostate gland becomes larger than normal. The prostate is a male sex gland that helps make semen. It is located below the bladder and wraps around the urethra like a donut. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder into the penis. The urine flows through as it is passed out of the body. With BPH, an enlarged prostate can squeeze the urethra and block urine flow making it harder to urinate (pass urine).
- A laser prostatectomy may be done on an out-patient basis or during a hospital stay. During this surgery, no incisions (cuts) are made in your abdomen (stomach) or genital area. Caregivers insert special tools and scopes through your penis and urethra to do the surgery. A scope is a long metal tube with a light and tiny video camera on the end. This gives caregivers a clear view of the prostate area while watching the images on a monitor. Different types of lasers (powerful light beams) may be applied to open blocked channels or destroy excess prostate tissues. You and your caregiver will decide which type of surgery for your BPH is right for you. With laser prostatectomy, your prostate may become smaller and the symptoms of BPH may be relieved.
- Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
- Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
You may feel like resting more. Match your activity to the amount of energy you have. Take a nap twice during the day if possible. Going to bed early and getting up late may also help.
- Catheter: You may need to learn how to insert a catheter by yourself if you cannot urinate on your own. A catheter is a soft rubber tube that you put into your urethra to drain your urine. Ask your caregiver for more information on self-catheterization.
- Voiding: Do not let your bladder become too full before emptying it. Set regular times each day to urinate. Urinate as soon as you feel the need. Try to urinate every three hours while awake and avoid drinking liquids before going to bed. At bedtime, urinate before lying down. This will keep you from having to get up to urinate after going to bed.
Eat a variety of healthy foods. These include fruits, vegetables, dairy products, bread, meat, poultry (chicken), fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts. A good, well-balanced diet may help you feel better, have more energy, and heal faster. You may also need to decrease the amount of salt in your diet. Examples of salty foods are chips, cured meats, and canned soups. Caregivers may also tell you not to eat spicy foods, such as chili peppers. This will help you find out if spicy food is causing the symptoms of your BPH. Ask your caregiver if you need to change your diet.
You may have sex if you feel well. Being sexually active may help keep your urethra open. Do not get sexually aroused without ejaculating because your urethra may get blocked. Some treatments may also cause you to have sexual problems. These problems usually do not last forever and most can be helped. Talk to your caregiver if you are worried or have concerns. He can help you find ways to handle these problems.
- Do not drink alcohol: Some people should not drink alcohol. These people include those with certain medical conditions or who take medicine that interacts with alcohol. Alcohol includes beer, wine, and liquor. Tell your caregiver if you drink alcohol. Ask him to help you stop drinking.
- Constipation: Do not try to push the bowel movement out if it is too hard. High-fiber foods, extra liquids, and regular exercise can help you prevent constipation. Examples of high-fiber foods are fruit and bran. Prune juice and water are good liquids to drink. Regular exercise helps your digestive system work. You may also be told to take over-the-counter fiber and stool softener medicines. Take these items as directed.
- Do not smoke: If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask for information about how to stop smoking if you need help.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- You have blood in your urine.
- You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- You have dizziness, nausea (upset stomach), or vomiting (throwing up).
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery, condition, or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You cannot urinate, or if you have a catheter, no urine is filling the bag.
- You have a blocked catheter or it comes out of the urethra.
- You have lower abdominal (stomach) pain or back pain that does not go away.
- You have redness, pain, blood, or drainage where the catheter enters the penis.
- Your symptoms are getting worse or coming back.
- Your urine becomes very cloudy and foul (bad) smelling.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.