Common Questions: The Procedure
Does prostate cancer surgery recovery require a catheter and dressings?
Yes. Like any radical prostatectomy, laparoscopic radical prostatectomy requires reconstruction of the bladder-urethra connection. For this reason, prostate cancer surgery recovery requires a catheter. This rubber tube left in the urethra, connected to a drainage bag, and used to align the healing suture line and drain the bladder.
In the immediate post-op period, laparoscopic radical prostatectomy also requires a drain that goes through the abdominal wall and left in the pelvis behind the pubic bone. The drain assures the collection of blood and urine that may accumulate immediately after the prostate cancer surgery and is removed when the output drops, usually the morning after surgery.
The surgical dressings for laparoscopic radical prostatectomy are five Band-Aid dots used to cover the instrument entry sites. These dressings are generally removed 48 hours after surgery. In the photo, a patient's abdomen is shown as it appeared the day after laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, after the drain had been removed. An old, diagonal appendectomy scar is seen on the patient's right.
There are stitches, but these dissolve by themselves and require no special care.