We thought we would introduce a new voice to the Men’s Liberty blog. Meet Men’s Liberty’s very own Nurse Nicole. Moreover, some of you may have already spoken to her on the phone at our offices. On the “Nurse Hotline” as she calls it. We think she’s great! We have asked her to break down some of the basic questions we get asked, as well as some of the more common medical issues that men face. And we know she is the right person to give simple, clear explanations to some, often confusing, health subject matters. So, look for more blogs and some new videos from her too! This week she’ll cover prostatectomy.
“Prostate- what omy”?
Everyone has different reasons for incontinence, and learning to cope with the changes our bodies go through isn’t an easy task. Educating yourself, being prepared, and having the ability to laugh at life situations can work wonders with coping. A large portion of patients who need to use urinary devices have had a prostatectomy. Even though some of you are a pro on the topic now, I am willing to bet there was at least ONE point in time when you were unsure on what the procedure was, what to expect, or maybe what the next steps would be.
For those who are just learning about the procedure and would like to learn more information- you’ve come to the right place! As a matter of fact, in this article we will be learning about a prostatectomy and what it means for you and your health.
What is a prostatectomy?
Prostatectomy is the removal of the prostate, which is located below the bladder. For instance, many times, this procedure is done to make sure cancer cells will not remain in the body. There are different ways to perform a prostatectomy, and most are robotically assisted due to our advanced technology. The different approaches include, but are not limited to:
- Suprapubic: an incision is made in the abdomen below the belly button to remove the prostate.
- Perineal: an incision is made in the perineum to remove the prostate.
- Laparoscopic (Robotically assisted) : a few small holes are made across the abdomen for the removal of the prostate.
Your physician will choose which approach is best suited for you, your body, and your health. Make sure to ask as many questions as you need to be informed- I usually recommend making a list….and checkin’ it twice! (Makes me think of Christmastime!)
What happens after?
Instructions after your procedure may vary depending on the type of procedure you had, your physician, and the facility’s protocols. The hospital will give you discharge instructions on how your activity must be limited. Usually they want you to take it easy for about 6 weeks- that means no whiskey or late night clubbing! You will be sent home with an internal catheter (Foley catheter). Do not pull on the catheter, as there is an inflated balloon inside.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the most irritating part of the entire process. The good news is- it is TEMPORARY (for 1 week). It may be a nuisance, but it is necessary for your healing and will be removed when you visit your urologist.
In fact if you have already had a prostatectomy, you’re probably now aware of the typical side effects of the procedure. But for those who don’t know, the side effects of the procedure may include erectile dysfunction or incontinence.
In conclusion, the good news is Men’s Liberty is here to help you successfully address the incontinence. However, combine that with additional medications, vacuums, or therapies and you’ll have conquered the procedure and be on the road to a healthier you!