Getting and Staying Healthy: A Health and Medical Blog

Prostate Cancer Surgery Prep: What You Need to Know By the Days, Weeks and Months!

If you're suffering from prostate cancer, or if you need prostate cancer surgery to prevent cancer from developing, you may be apprehensive about your upcoming surgery. The good news is that prostate cancer surgery is now more advanced than it's ever been before -- and this means you can have a successful surgery and recovery if you follow your doctor's guidelines. Some of the most common prostate surgery preparation guidelines are discussed below. 

In the Months Before Your Scheduled Surgery

At one to two months before your surgery, your doctor will typically begin your pre-op tests. The goal of these tests is to ensure that you're healthy enough for the upcoming prostate cancer surgery. Whilst the necessary tests can be changed or expanded based upon your individual medical needs, your pre-operative tests will normally including the following. 

  1. A chest X-ray: a test to check for disease or illness, for example lung disease, that might prevent a successful surgery
  2. An Electrocardiogram (EKG): a test to check your heart function to make sure your heart is strong enough for the prostate cancer surgery
  3. Blood tests: blood tests include a repeat of the prostate specific antigen test to verify your prostate cancer and a clotting screen to make sure that you don't have an undiagnosed bleeding disorder.
  4. Pelvic floor exercises: Your doctor may also ask you to begin practising certain daily exercises. Kegel exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor ahead of the surgery, which means that you'll find it easier to urinate normally after your surgery. These exercises can also help you return to full sexual function after your prostate cancer surgery. 

In the Week Before Your Surgery

Your doctor will provide you with very specific guidelines to follow in the week before your scheduled prostate cancer surgery. These guidelines usually include the following. 

  • Discontinue taking aspirin tablets: this includes any and all products containing aspirin
  • Discontinue taking ibuprofen products: this includes any other NSAID medications as well
  • Discontinue the use of herbal supplements: vitamin E, ginkgo biloba, ginseng can cause excessive bleeding 
  • Discontinue taking medications for blood clots

Your doctor should know about all of your medications, including non-prescription ones and supplements, so that they can give you detailed personalised medication instructions at least a week before your surgery.

In the Days Before Your Surgery

Your doctor will usually tell you to avoid all alcoholic beverages beginning about two days prior to your prostate cancer surgery. Alcohol can seriously interfere with your anesthesia during the surgery -- it's not worth the risk. During this two day period, you should also continue to avoid all of the medications you've already stopped.

To prepare your bowels for the prostate surgery, you'll need to do an enema either the night before or the morning of the surgery. Your doctor will let you know the optimal time to do this. 

By following your doctor's guidelines by the day, week, and month, you can get ready for your prostate cancer surgery in the best way. Before you know it, you'll be in recovery -- and cancer free at last!