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Discharge Instructions for Radical Prostatectomy

You had a procedure called radical prostatectomy. This removed the entire prostate and nearby tissues. This sheet will help you know what to do after surgery.


  • Don’t drive until your healthcare provider says it’s OK. This is often after your catheter is removed and you are no longer taking pain medicine.

  • For the first 2 weeks after surgery, limit physical activity. This will let your body rest and heal.

  • Talk with your healthcare provider before going back to your normal activity level.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds (4.5 kg) until your healthcare provider says it’s OK.

  • Don't go on long car rides.

  • Don't climb stairs or do strenuous exercise. Don’t mow the lawn or use a vacuum cleaner.

  • Take naps if you feel tired.

Home care

  • Prevent constipation:

    • Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

    • Unless directed otherwise, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day (enough to keep your urine light-colored). This will also help keep a healthy flow of urine.

    • Use a laxative or a stool softener if your healthcare provider says it’s OK.

  • Take care of your catheter. Ask for an information sheet and training before leaving the hospital:

    • Keep the catheter well secured.

    • Use either leg bags or external (straight drainage) bags, or both.

    • Empty your bag when it’s half full. You may see some blood in the bag. This is normal after surgery and while the catheter is in place.

    • Use plain soap and water to wash the outside of the catheter and the head of your penis daily, or more often if needed.

  • Return to your normal diet.

  • Shower as normal.

  • Finish the antibiotics that your healthcare provider prescribed.

  • Take pain medicine if needed and as prescribed.

  • Think about wearing sweatpants while you have the catheter. They may be more comfortable than other pants.


Make a follow-up appointment as directed.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your provider

  • Shaking chills

  • Heavy bleeding, clots, or bright red blood from the catheter

  • Catheter that falls out or stops draining

  • Bad-smelling discharge from your catheter

  • Redness, swelling, warmth, or pain at your incision site

  • Drainage, pus, or bleeding from your incision

  • Trouble breathing

  • Hives or rash

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Diarrhea

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Marc Greenstein MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2019
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