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St. Elizabeth Robotic Surgery Center

FAQs about Urology

Do I need to donate blood prior to surgery?

No. As the loss of blood associated with da Vinci Prostatectomy is typically minimal enough that blood transfusion is rare (2.2% of the time), men are not routinely required to donate their own blood. It is preferable for those undergoing this surgery to have the most of their own blood available within their own circulation at the time of surgery and therefore it is preferred that they do not donate blood.

Will I be sterile following da Vinci Prostatectomy?

Yes. The prostate, seminal vesicles and vasa deferentia are removed during this procedure rendering a man sterile. These organs are crucial to the production and transport of semen, which is necessary for reproduction.

How long will I be hospitalized? 

Patients who undergo da Vinci prostatectomy at St. Elizabeth typically return to their home the day following surgery. The usual routine of progress is that a patient undergoes surgery, begins walking the halls two hours after arrival to the recovery floor, spends the evening, his drain is removed the following morning and he leaves the hospital the next day.   Obviously, all patients are not alike and unique conditions may require a more lengthy hospital stay. However, the vast majority of patients leave the hospital within 24 hours of arrival to the post-operative floor. (photo of patient walking on recovery unit).

Time off work? 

Depending on the type of work that you perform, we recommend that you inform your employer that you will be off of work between four to six weeks. Some patients are ready to return to their job after seven to ten days while others take longer to heal. Your doctor will let you know when you may return to work.

Can I talk to a patient who had surgery? 

Numerous patients have undergone da Vinci Prostatectomy are willing to share their stories, so that you may be better informed about your decision. We have requested that these patients tell you their entire experience – the positives as well as the negatives. If you are interested in speaking with a patient who has undergone da Vinci Prostatectomy at St. Elizabeth ask your doctor and he would be happy to put you in contact with someone.

How long will my catheter be in after surgery?

Typically, one week after surgery an x-ray test called a cystogram will be performed at the hospital. As long as this test shows adequate healing the catheter will be removed that day. If there is any sign of inadequate healing the catheter will remain in place until complete healing has occurred. Most men have their catheter in for seven days.

When can I resume normal activity?

You are encouraged to be physically active beginning two hours after arriving to the post-operative floor. Upon arrival home you are expected to maintain a high level of activity (ex. walking vigorously). The only restrictions you will have are that you are not to drive or lift anything heavier than ten pounds until your doctor allows you to do so. Full return to normal activity is typically expected two-four weeks after surgery.


When can I drive?

You must be cleared by your surgeon to operate an automobile following surgery. Typically this occurs one-two weeks following surgery. You may not, however, operate an automobile while taking narcotic pain medication such as Vicodin.

If my prostate was removed, why do I still have to check my PSA after surgery?

After the treatment of any cancer, it is imperative to follow closely with your doctor to ensure that the cancer does not return. Even though the prostate is removed, the possibility of cancer returning still exists.   The likelihood of this varies from patient to patient depending on the aggressiveness of his cancer. Your doctor will monitor your PSA regularly after surgery and over time will increase the time interval between PSA checks as long as your PSA remains undetectable.