Dear Dr. Motola,
As the wife of one who is scheduled for robotic prostate surgery in a few weeks, I would welcome any advice or insights about how to best care for and help my husband.
What should I expect and how much should I do or not do?
The post-operative recovery period after the robotic surgery is similar to that of other surgical procedures. Patients are left with several small incisions on the abdominal wall. Surgical drains are also left in place for a period of time, and most patients leave the hospital without the drains in place. Given the minimally invasive nature of the incision, most patients are fairly comfortable post-operatively.
The most bothersome part of the post-operative recovery tends to be the catheter that is left in place. These tubes tend to be a minor annoyance to the patient. The catheter bridges the surgically reconstructed gap that exists between the bladder and the urethra. While healing occurs, the catheter is left in place. This tube is attached to a drainage bag that will be secured to the thigh. Surgeons tend to leave the catheters in place for 7-14 days. After the catheter is removed spontaneous voiding resumes. Patients will initially experience some urinary incontinence, but usually this is a minor amount.
Published On: December 21, 2007