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Urology Health Topics

This information is approved and/or reviewed by U-M Health System providers but it is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for medical treatment. You should speak to your physician or make an appointment to be seen if you have questions or concerns about this information or your medical condition. Exención de responsabilidad en Español | Complete disclaimer

Instructions For Care Following Conventional Prostatectomy/Robotic Prostatectomy

The healing process takes time and we would like for you to observe the following instructions during your initial recovery at home.

INITIAL POST-OP CARE IN THE HOSPITAL

Urethral Catheter
The urethral catheter drains the bladder and allows the bladder to heal to the urethra.  In general it will stay in place for 7 – 10 days, but can be longer if the connection between the bladder and urethra needs additional healing time.  Your doctor will tell you exactly when to have the catheter removed.  
IT IS CRITICAL THAT THE CATHETER STAY IN PLACE DURING THE HEALING PHASE.

Pelvic Drains
During surgery, the physician will place a pelvic drain in or around the surgical area that will exit through the abdominal wall.  This drain is used for drainage of excess fluid from the surgical area itself.

Most patients will have this drain removed the first day after surgery.  Occasionally this pelvic drain may be left in for a week or more, in which case you would be instructed on how to care for it at home.

Pain Management
The night after your operation a Patient Controlled Analgesic device referred to as a PCA, is used to help control any post-surgical pain.  This is a device that administers pain medication through your IV (intravenous). You will have access to a button that you can push, which will then automatically give you a prescribed dosage of the medication at preset intervals.  This will be discontinued the day after your surgery in the morning and you will start on oral medication for pain control. 

Preventing Blood Clots in the Legs
During the operation and through the night after surgery, you will wear self-inflating stockings which promote blood circulation in the legs.  They help prevent blood clots (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) from forming in the legs.  Once you start walking the next day, they will be removed.

YOUR RECOVERY AT HOME
                                   
Cleaning the urethral opening
To decrease risk of infection from the indwelling urethral catheter and later scarring, it is important to clean the urethral opening.  Using soap and water wash around the urethra at the entry point of the Urethral twice a day.  Rinse well.  Place a small amount of Bacitracin ointment around the meatus.  If a rash or skin irritation occurs with the Bacitracin, discontinue use and use K-Y lubricant.

Urethral Catheter Holder