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Prostatectomy- Side Effects?!

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Undergoing a prostatectomy can be a nightmare from a short, long-term and late stage side effects perspective. The testimonial below is from a long-time friend who came to me asking about prostate cancer. John (not his real name) had just had a PSA test of over 4 and was asking me about evidence-based, non-conventional PCa therapies.
John’s father was living with PCa and had undergone radiation therapy that was causing life long side effects.
Skip ahead 5 years. John’s PCa had advanced enough that John decided to undergo a total prostate removal aka prostatectomy. I am a cancer survivor myself, living with a host of side effects from my own aggressive therapies and John’s prostatectomy worried me.
Fortunately, John took his rehab seriously. Please read John’s testimonial (marroon below) as well as the research about
  • Kegals
  • Buttwalking
  • Rucking
as rehab therapies following a prostatectomy.

After discovering some aggressive cells in biopsy and MRI, I recently had the robotic prostatectomy at UH by Dr. Shoag.  5+hrs later and I was in my room at Seidman. 18 hrs later, they released me.  Aside from minor issues with the catheter, it has been a relatively easy recovery.  
The Kegels and buttwalks helped out quite a bit and I added in some rucking – hiking with a weighted backpack.  Got up to 50lbs and 5.5miles just before surgery.  I’ll pick it back up once my abs feel normal.  I was continent within 4 days after catheter removal and with the Cialis regimen, have had no issues in the ED department.
I just had my first blood test last week, which was just shy of 4 weeks after surgery.  PSA levels were undetectable.  I’m beyond pleased and thankful!
Thank you so very much for your insight, guidance and suggestions throughout this process!  Anyone who comes to you with prostate cancer issues, I’d be happy to share my experiences.

What is a prostatectomy and what are the usual side effects of this procedure?

A prostatectomy is a surgical procedure to remove all or part of the prostate gland. The side effects associated with a prostatectomy can vary depending on the type of procedure performed (e.g., radical prostatectomy, laparoscopic prostatectomy, robotic-assisted prostatectomy) and the individual patient. Common side effects may include:

  1. Urinary Incontinence: Difficulty controlling urine flow is a common side effect. It may improve over time as the muscles that control bladder function regain strength.
  2. Erectile Dysfunction: The ability to achieve or maintain an erection may be affected, especially in the immediate post-surgery period. Some patients may experience improvement over time, while others may have long-term challenges.
  3. Changes in Ejaculation: Depending on the type of prostatectomy, there may be changes in ejaculation. Some men may experience a dry orgasm, while others may notice a decrease in the volume of ejaculate.
  4. Infertility: Prostatectomy can lead to infertility because the prostate gland contributes to seminal fluid. Men who wish to preserve their fertility may consider sperm banking before the surgery.
  5. Fatigue: Fatigue is common after surgery and may persist for a variable period as the body heals.
  6. Bowel Issues: Some men may experience changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or changes in stool consistency.
  7. Scarring and Pain: Surgical procedures involve incisions, which can lead to scarring and discomfort. Pain is usually managed with medications, and scarring tends to fade over time.
  8. Lymphedema: In some cases, removal of lymph nodes during surgery can lead to lymphedema, which is the swelling of the limbs due to the accumulation of lymphatic fluid. This is more common in extensive lymph node dissection.

John’s prehabilitation and rehabilitation are evidence-based non-conventional therapies. Meaning, the FDA has not researched nor approved these therapies. This isn’t a good or bad thing. Conventional medicine has limitations.

The important thing to remember is that there is more to a prostatectomy than what your oncologist/urologist may tell you.

Have you been diagnosed with prostate cancer? Are you considering having a prostatectomy? To learn more about evidence-based non-conventional therapies let me know- David.PeopleBeatingCancer@gmail.com.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Kegel Exercises for Men- 

“…Strengthening the muscles that surround and support the genital area can assist the penis in obtaining and maintaining an erection and address issues that cause premature ejaculation…”

Butt Walking

“The pelvic floor muscles stretch from the pubic bone at the front of your body, underneath your bladder and bowel, to the bottom of your spine (see diagram below). They act as a sling, supporting the bladder and bowel and helping to control when you urinate (wee) or empty your bowels. They also help with erectile function. Pelvic floor muscle exercises help to strengthen these muscles…”

Prehabilitation (rucking)

“Prehabilitation is defined as a process of improving the functional capability of a patient prior to a surgical procedure…”


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