Typical Patient Experience
Once a man has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and has decided with his urologist to proceed with robotic prostatectomy, the following is a typical journey through the surgical process.
The patient reports to the surgery department at the appointed time on the day of surgery. He’ll have a chance to meet with both the urologist and anesthesiologist just prior to surgery to answer any remaining questions. The patient is then brought to the operating room, given sedation medicine and a general anesthetic.
After a 30-45 minute set up of the robotic equipment, the surgery begins and takes two to three hours to complete. The patient is then awoken from anesthesia and brought to the recovery room for a short stay while continuing to fully awaken. After an hour or so, the patient leaves the recovery area and is brought to their Medical Center room where they will be able to visit with family.
The patient, at this point, will have a drain exiting one of the small incisions in the lower abdomen called a “JP drain.” This drain is typically in place over night and is removed the next morning. There is also a Foley catheter in the bladder that will remain in place for one week. Patients are taught by nursing staff prior to discharge how to care for their catheters at home.
The evening of surgery, the patient is usually given a full liquid diet and is asked to walk in the hallway at least once with the help of the nursing staff. By morning, the diet is advanced, the drain is removed and the patient is discharged to home mid-day with the Foley catheter in place. By this time, pain or discomfort from the small incisions is minimal and well controlled with a prescribed oral pain medicine.