About Your Prostate Surgery Checklist

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This checklist will help you get ready for your prostate surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK). It will also help you know what to expect during your recovery. This is a quick reference that should be used along with your About Your Prostate Surgery resource.

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The Day Before Your Surgery

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

At night:

  • Shower with Hibiclens®. Avoid your face and genital area.
  • Give yourself a saline enema (Fleet® enema).
  • Don’t eat anything after midnight.
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The Day of Your Surgery

  • Between midnight and 2 hours before your arrival time, you may drink up to 12 ounces of water.
  • Starting 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time, don’t eat or drink anything.
  • Shower with Hibiclens. Avoid your face and genital area.
  • Wear a pair of 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 that you were instructed to take.
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When You Go Home

  • Follow a light diet until you have your first bowel movement (poop).
  • Drink 8 (8-ounce) glasses 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.
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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®.
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Complete 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.

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