Andy's Story

White British
Sexual Orientation
West Midlands
Relationship status
Married/In a Civil Partnership

How this treatment impacted my life the most

It's a massively invasive operation and although I did not suffer undue pain before, immediately after or since, it has impacted significantly. My operation took place early on during the pandemic and in fact, I was the first robotically assisted procedure that had taken place for several months. Two things went wrong during the operation, I was unlucky and as a consequence: a. had to have a blood transfusion due to a clip coming off, (this means I am now no longer allowed to be a blood doner); b. The initial attempt to perform the urethral anastomosis was unsuccessful and had to be redone. There is therefore more scar tissues which has led to my low level incontinence. Initially I was rendered very incontinent. This slowly improved but never fully after 18 months. Being a very active and young for my age 62 at the time, it has prevented me for engaging fully in some of the more strenuous activity: climbing, skiing, cycling etc that I expect to enjoy. Whilst I have managed the incontinence and things have a improved considerably from the first year, it still impacts on my life three years later - which is why I have just had an artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) fitted. It will be 'activated' in April 2024 and I'm hopeful. It is regarded as the 'gold standard' and I am assured I will notice significant improvement. It certainly is very clever technology and has been used as a treatment for over 40 years. I will be able to provide much more detail about this subsequent operation and its effect if required in due course. That said, being a very practical person, I have managed to adapt: I can do long walks in mountains, ski and soon I hope mountaineer again. Cycling will also be possible with the aid of a suitable bicycle seat, now readily available and used extensively by professionals. Important to keep pressure off the perineum following installation of an AUS.

If I had to do it all over again, would I choose the same treatment?

Not sure

Why did I give this answer?

Because I would want to fully research options that may have become available since and might now mean I did not have to undergo a radical prostatechtomy. Though I am very relieved to be 100% cancer free, (in that respect the operation was a total success as the cancer was removed intact having not breached the prostate membrane, the collateral damage has affected my life. I probably would however as it clearly is the most definite solution available. I would also always elect for robotically assisted surgery. I had this and it is remarkable how small the incisions were and how little scaring remains.

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