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How to Recover from Prostate Cancer Surgery

Prostate cancer surgery is often effective in treating cancer that has not spread from the prostate, but there are some risks and complications associated with the surgery.


  • Step 1: Shower after your surgery. Gently wash the incision area with soap and water. Avoid baths until the incision area is healed completely. Now you can get on with your life!
  • Step 2: Know that erectile dysfunction can occur after prostate cancer surgery. Most men recover from erectile dysfunction, though it may take months or years after the surgery.
  • Step 3: Return to your life by resuming your normal activities, including light exercise and sexual activity, as soon as you feel ready. Avoid strenuous exercise, and do not drive until your have your doctor's OK.
  • FACT: According to a National Health Statistics report, there were 168,000 prostatectomies in the United States in 2006.
  • TIP: Avoid foods and drinks that can affect your recovery time, such as caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods.
  • Step 4: Drink plenty of liquids to keep hydrated after your surgery. Ask your doctor for a specific amount you should consume each day.
  • Step 5: Wear urinary incontinence pads after the prostate cancer surgery to absorb any leakage if you experience urinary control problems.
  • TIP: You may have to seek treatment if the problem lasts longer than a year after surgery.
  • Step 6: Take the medications prescribed by your doctor to help your recover from the surgery. Medications might include antibiotics to prevent infection, stool softeners, and pain medication.
  • Step 7: Prepare for urinary problems. A catheter is used after surgery to help with draining your bladder. After the catheter is removed, bladder control may be difficult for a few months. Improve bladder control with Kegel exercises by tightening your pelvic muscles as if holding back a stream of urine. Do three sets of 10 pelvic exercises a day.

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