About Your Prostate Surgery Checklist

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This checklist will help you get ready for your prostate surgery at MSK. It will also help you know what to expect during your recovery. This is a quick reference you should use along with About Your Prostate Surgery.

The day before your surgery

  • Follow a light diet. A light diet includes things such as a small sandwich, eggs, toast, crackers, or soup.
  • Drink 8 (8-ounce) cups of water.

At night:

  • Shower with a 4% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) solution antiseptic skin cleanser, such as Hibiclens®. Avoid your face and genital area.
  • Give yourself a saline enema, such as a Fleet® saline enema.
  • Stop eating 8 hours before your scheduled arrival time.
  • 8 hours before your scheduled arrival time, do not eat or drink anything except these clear liquids:
    • Water.
    • Soda.
    • Clear juices, such as lemonade, apple, and cranberry juices. Do not drink orange juice or juices with pulp.
    • Black coffee or tea (without any type of milk or creamer).
    • Sports drinks, such as Gatorade®.
    • ClearFast or Ensure® Pre-Surgery drink.
    • Gelatin, such as Jell-O®.
    You can keep having them until 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time.

The day of your surgery

  • Remember, starting 8 hours before your scheduled arrival time, do not eat or drink anything except the things listed above.
  • Stop drinking 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time. This includes water.
  • Shower with 4% CHG solution. Avoid your face and genital area.
  • Wear loose pants, brief-style underwear, and sneakers that lace up.
  • Leave your valuable items at home.
  • If you wear contacts, wear your glasses instead.
  • Take only the medications you were told to take.

When you go home

  • Follow a light diet until you have your first bowel movement (poop).
  • Drink 8 (8-ounce) cups of liquids every day.
  • Shower 24 hours after your surgery.
  • Walk around every 2 hours while you’re awake. Try to walk a total of 4 to 5 miles every day.

Caring for yourself

  • Incisions: Clean your incisions (surgical cuts) with soap and water every day. You may have some blood or fluid coming from your incisions. Change your bandages every day until there’s no more drainage.
  • Abdominal (belly) and shoulder pain: You may have pain in your abdomen and shoulder. If you do, walk around every 2 hours to reduce the pain.
  • Catheter: You may have blood in your urine (pee) and some blood or urine leaking from the tip of your penis. Keep the tip of your penis clean and dry. Apply lubricating gel to prevent irritation.
  • Swelling and bruising: Your penis and scrotum will be swollen and bruised. Raise your scrotum on a rolled towel when you’re sitting or lying down. Wear brief-style underwear instead of boxers.
  • Constipation: Take a stool softener every 8 hours with a glass of water until your bowel movements are normal. If you’re passing gas and haven’t had a bowel movement by the second night you’re home, take MiraLAX®.

Fill out your Recovery Tracker

Remember to fill out your Recovery Tracker every day by logging into your MyMSK account (our patient portal). Your healthcare team will review your responses to make sure your recovery is going as expected.

Last Updated

Monday, February 5, 2024

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