Before surgery for prostate cancer – Tips to prepare for “the big day”

There’s a lot to think about before surgery for prostate cancer (such as radical prostatectomy, which is the medical term for prostate removal).  Here are some helpful tips to help you plan ahead so you’re ready.

Products to have on hand before surgery for prostate cancer

  • Get at least one pair of pants that has snaps or zippers on the sides of each leg. It will make it much easier to change the urine collection bag at home.
  • Surgical tape may also be useful to secure the
    catheter tube to your loved one’s leg.
  • Be sure that you have enough pairs of boxer shorts on hand (not tight ones).
  • Have your man try on a pair of incontinence briefs (like Depends) to make sure they are the right size. It will be much easier to do this prior to surgery than after when he’s in pain.
  • Buy a bottle of ginger ale and let it go flat ahead of time, in case your loved one has nausea from his pain medications.
  • Consider buying or borrowing a cane or a walking stick.  When your man takes his first walk, he’ll have “three legs” to stand on.
  • Use a bathmat or protective strips for the shower to help avoid falls.
  • Keep antimicrobial soap handy as you’ll need to wash your hands thoroughly each time you change the urine collection bag.
  • Make sure you have an oral thermometer at home.

Other helpful tips before surgery for prostate cancer

  • If you work, think about taking a week off to care for your loved one and yourself. Two weeks may be even better, if you can afford it.  It can be stressful and you’ll want some time to decompress.
  • Prepare some meals and freeze them ahead of time so you can make a quick dinner when you’re tired and hungry.
  • Arrange to have either a caring family member or friend sit with you for support during the surgery.
  • Bring all the telephone numbers of those you will want to call from the hospital after the surgery.
  • Consider bringing a box of donuts or bagels for the hospital staff the first time you visit. They may be more receptive when you really need something!
  • Think about where your man will recover at home the first few days. Negotiating stairs may be tough, and he’ll probably want to be close to a bathroom.

Discuss these tips with a qualified medical professional to be sure they are appropriate for your specific situation.

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