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Robot Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) is surgery to remove your prostate gland through small incisions in your abdomen. RALP is done with a machine that is controlled by your surgeon. The machine has mechanical arms that use small tools to remove your prostate.
- 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.
- Stool softeners: This medicine makes it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to treat or prevent constipation.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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 healthcare provider or uro-oncologist in 1 week or as directed:
You will need your urinary catheter removed. Tests will show if any cancer remains in your body after surgery. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
A Foley catheter
is a tube put into your bladder to drain urine into a bag. Keep the bag below your waist. This will prevent urine from flowing back into your bladder and causing an infection or other problems. Also, keep the tube free of kinks so the urine will drain properly. Do not pull on the catheter. This can cause pain and bleeding, and may cause the catheter to come out.
Follow your healthcare provider's directions on how to care for your incisions. Ask when you can start showering or bathing. You will need to keep your stitches covered so they do not get wet.
What to expect after surgery:
- Activities: You may feel like resting more after surgery. Slowly start to do more each day. Rest when you feel it is needed.
- Normal daily activities: Ask your healthcare provider when it is safe to return to your normal daily activities. You may need to wait 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Your healthcare provider will tell you about the activities you should avoid after your surgery. These may include driving while you are taking pain medicines or until your catheter is removed. You may also be given a weight restriction on lifting objects.
- Walking and other exercise: Walking is an important activity to help with your recovery after surgery. Walking is a good way to improve your overall health and help you recover sooner. It also helps keep your blood flowing and reduces the risk of blood clots. Other types of exercise can also be an important part of your recovery. Ask about the exercises that are safe for you.
- Sexual activity: Ask when it is safe to start having sexual intercourse again. You may have trouble having an erection. Your erections may return with time. Medicines and mechanical aids may help. Talk to your healthcare provider about these options.
- Bladder control: After surgery, you may have problems controlling when you urinate. Ask your healthcare provider about pads and liners that absorb urine while you recover.
- Constipation: You may have problems having bowel movements during your recovery. Ask your healthcare provider about diet changes if you are having problems with constipation.
Contact your healthcare provider or uro-oncologist if:
- You have a fever.
- Your pain is getting worse, even with medicine.
- You have an incision that is red, swollen, or has pus coming from it.
- You are urinating less than usual.
- You have trouble urinating or having a bowel movement.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have more blood in your urine than you were told to expect, or you pass a blood clot.
- You have an upset stomach or are vomiting.
- You have painful swelling in your abdomen that does not go away.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You cough up blood.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
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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.