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Preparing for a prostatectomy can be a scary time in your life. This is something my husband and I know from personal experience. Last year, my husband had a prostatectomy at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas. Of course, if you are at the point of preparing for a prostatectomy, you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. You have so many worries going through your head, sometimes the best form of relaxation is to be prepared. I have created this printable checklist for anyone who needs it based on the supplies we needed after my husband’s surgery. I hope it helps!
First off, you will need a caregiver. I didn’t include this on the supplies list because it is not a ‘thing’ yet, a loving person. This is going to be key to your recovery. After watching my husband go through this surgery, I can’t image anyone doing it alone. After surgery, you are not allowed to lift anything over 5 pounds or drive. This can make it especially difficult to care for yourself. You will need someone to cook and clean for you, run errands, call doctors for assistance if needed, and to watch your healing process to make sure you do not experience any difficulties.
Supplies Needed After Prostatectomy
Bland Foods & Drinks
- After surgery, our doctor recommended bland foods. You really do not want to eat anything that would upset your stomach. Avoid any foods or drinks that may cause excess gas like beans, broccoli, or carbonated beverages. Once you have had a bowel movement, you should move to a soft food diet of things like soups, scrambled eggs, toast, oatmeal etc… and then work your way back to your normal diet as you feel comfortable.
Loose Fitting Clothing
- Immediately after surgery, your abdomen will be slightly bloated. You may have trouble fitting into your regular size clothes. So you may want to purchase a few sizes up, loose fitting clothes, such as sweat pants or shorts with elastic waistbands. Keep in mind, you will need to accommodate the catheter and collection bag.
Lots of Pillows
- Most men find it very difficult to get comfortable after leaving the hospital. While in the hospital, you have a wonderful hospital bed to raise you forward. When you arrive home, you will find it very difficult to use your stomach muscles to get out of a bed. I would recommend several different pillows and pillow types. Perhaps, even a wedge pillow or bedrest pillow. A lot of men find it comfortable to sleep in a recliner at first.
- You will need these to clean your wound around your drain tube (JP drain). If you are sent home with the drain tube, you will need them for cleaning the drain hose and container. Don’t worry, they will teach you how to do this before you leave the hospital.
WaterProof Gauze Adhesive Pads
- You will need these to cover your incision from the drain tube to shower for a few days.
- Also needed for the drain tube incision. If you are sent home with the tube you will need to have gauze pads to change around the incision about twice a day, using around 4 pads each time.
Medical Adhesive Tape
- This will be needed for around the drain tube incision and for your catheter. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a comfortable position for the catheter drain tube. Once you find a comfortable position you can use medical adhesive tape to hold it in place.
Care Products for Catheter
- You will need a small (around 20 qt.) wastebasket to place your catheter bag in, especially while sleeping. You can place it on the floor but, it may leak. With the basket, you can hang the catheter bag from the top and this will help with drainage. I have seen some people suggest a five-gallon bucket with a handle, for easy carry. Just remember, you are not to lift over 5lbs. To clean your catheter, you will need bleach, dial foaming soap, and gloves. You will need lubrication gel for the catheter tube at the tip of the penis. The hospital may send you home with this and an antibiotic ointment. Don’t worry about this either, as the hospital will train you to care for and clean the catheter before you are discharged.
Depend® Fitflex Underwear for Men
- Most men have difficulty with urinary control after catheter removal. You should bring an adult urinary underwear (such as Depend®) with you the day your catheter is removed. You should be prepared to wear these for a while because, normal urinary control may not be regained for some time. I have heard of some men regaining continence fairly quickly. However, my husband is almost one year past surgery and still has incontinence issues. Yet, using Depend® products, he does not have to worry about leakage. With more flexibility to move with you, use Depend® Fitflex . Featuring all-around leg elastics and a smooth, close-to-body fit, this slip-on styles specifically designed for both comfort and protection. He can go out and be active doing everyday activities.
I do suggest you purchase Depend products at Sam’s Club.
You save so much more money purchasing at Sam’s Club. In fact, the new packaging now available on Poise® and Depend® products at Sam’s Club shows just how much you save by shopping at Sam’s Club! They offer Sam’s Club Caregiving.
When you open your Depend packaging, it will have a sticker inside that you can use to redeem at the pharmacy for an awesome caregiver sample kit. I plan to redeem mine soon! This offer is available while supplies last so, hurry in today to find your packaging with this offer! Also, if you download the Digimarc Discovery app, you can scan anywhere on the Depend packaging and it will drive you to the Sam’s Club Caregiver website.
Depend® Incontinence Guards for Men
- My husband used the underwear and the guards together. Just a tip – this way you will not have to change the underwear each time, just change out the guard.
Depend® Bed Protectors
- This is optional but, my husband did experience some leakage around his wounds and from the catheter. You may want these to eliminate having to change bed sheets often.
Over the Counter Medication
- You might need a stool softener and/or laxative for constipation and Ibuprofen for pain and inflammation.
- Your doctor will give you release care information. If your temperature reaches a certain degree, you may have an infection or complication. You will need your caregiver to monitor your temperature.