FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.

What is a “normal” PSA?

A.

PSA tends to increase with age and with other non-cancer related conditions such as prostatitis and benign prostatic enlargement. Therefore the "normal"range for PSA dependes somewhat on what age you are. Your GP or urologist can advise you on what is an acceptable PSA for your age.

Q.

What is the prostate gland?

A.

The prostate gland is normally the size of a walnut in the average adult male and will increase in size as men age. The urethra is the tube which delivers urine from the bladder through the prostate to the outside. At the base of the bladder, the prostate gland surrounds the urethra. The prostate is an accessory part of the male ejaculatory system and is important for reproduction, although not necessarily for sexual potency. Sperm are made and stored in the seminal vesicles until ejaculation occurs.

Q.

Should I be screened for prostate cancer?

A.

It is recommended that all men from the age of 50 have an annual digital rectal exam (DRE), and a PSA blood test. However, there are some men who have been found to be at a higher risk for developing prostate cancer. Men who have a brother or father who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer have a 2 to 9 times higher risk of developing prostate cancer themselves. These men who are at high risk should have annual DRE exam and PSA from the age of 40. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that a single PSA done in the 40's may be predictive of future risk of prostate cancer and may be useful as a baseline test.

Q.

What is robotic surgery?

A.

The cutting edge da Vinci® Surgical System has revolutionized prostate cancer treatment with the advent of robotic prostate surgery, also known as robotic prostatectomy. Benefits of this minimally invasive procedure are realized by both the surgeon, through enhanced precision and visualization, and the patient, in short-term and long-term recovery. Robotic prostatectomy is now the standard approach for surgical removal of the prostate in the USA and is increasingly utilised worldwide.

Q.

How long will I be in hospital?

A.

Most patients are only in hospital for one night following their surgery, being discharged around lunchtime the following day. By then you will be able to walk around, have a shower and do most things at a “gentle” pace. You may need to have the occasional rest in the first week or so after your operation.

Q.

When can I go back to work?

A.

It will take you 2-3 weeks to feel “normal” again after your operation. It is our advice not to rush back to work during that time. If you can stagger your return to work, starting with a few hours at a time for the first few days, or doing some work from home so that you can stop and have a rest if you need to, is often a good way to ease back into work.

Q.

How long will I be incontinent for?

A.

There is no accurate answer to this question. The majority (80%) of our patients are not wearing a pad, or wearing a pad for “security” only by 3 months. But some men do need to wear pads for longer than that. Doing the pelvic floor exercises correctly is the one thing that you can do to help with the return of your urinary control.

Q.

How long before I get erections back?

A.

Again this question is not easy to answer. It may take several years (1-2) for spontaneous erections to return after surgery. There is an increasing amount of evidence supporting the use of “Penile Rehabilitation”. This means using medication, injections or devices to keep erections happening, even in the absence of spontaneous erectile function. We will give you and your partner information and advice about this rehabilitation program and instruction about what you and how you can use medication to help.