Discharge Instructions for Radical Prostatectomy

You had a procedure called radical prostatectomy (removal of the entire prostate and surrounding tissues). This sheet will help you know what to do following surgery.


  • Don’t drive until your healthcare provider says it’s OK. This is usually 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 allow your body to rest and heal.

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

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

  • Avoid long car rides.

  • Avoid climbing stairs and strenuous exercise. Don’t mow the lawn or use a vacuum cleaner.

  • Take naps if you feel tired.

Home care

  • Avoid constipation:

    • Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

    • Unless directed otherwise, drink 6 glasses 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 notice 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 catheter and the head of your penis daily, or more often if needed.

  • Return to your normal diet.

  • Shower as usual.

  • Be sure to finish the antibiotics that your doctor prescribed.

  • Be sure to take pain medicine if needed and as prescribed.

  • Consider wearing sweat pants 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 above 100.4°F (38°C) or shaking chills

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

  • Catheter that falls out or stops draining

  • Foul-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