Sunday, December 31, 2006

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 12 Days Since Surgery

Blood clots and minor bleeding continued until yesterday, but now they have completely stopped. There is no telling if they will return (they stopped before and then returned) or if that part of the healing process is finally over. The urinary tract is still somewhat irritated, causing me to feel as if I need to pee when I don't.

Blood clots are soft and red, and settle to the bottom of the toilet when you are peeing. You can feel the larger ones come out, but they are soft and not painful at all.

The urinary stream is much improved. Emptying a full bladder takes about 30 seconds, compared with up to 2 minutes before the procedure.

I'm still on one Flomax per day, but I might as well stop it tonight because the flow is so good.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 9 Days Since Surgery

Today is another blood clot day. I cut down to one Flomax yesterday, but things slowed down so I am back up to 2/day today. I probably get about a teaspoon of blood with every urination...too little to have any health effect, but it has caused me to take an iron pill just to make sure I don't run low.

And, I've resumed the UTA (urinary tract anaesthetic) medication because those dlslodged blood clots seem to cause irritation of the urinary tract.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 8 Days Since Surgery

Today seems to be blood clot day! Almost every time I go, I pass a blood clot or two or three. Some are pretty big. And, with every clot you get some blood also.

But it's all normal, and the flowrate is increasing nicely :-)

A funny thing happened this morning: I went out to breakfast to a place that has electric-eye urinals. After I peed a few clots and some bloody urine, the urinal would not flush! So, I just skulked out, leaving the mess behind. I'm sure the next guy wondered what the heck had happened!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 1 Week Since Surgery

It's hard to believe that a week and 12 hours have passed since the Green Light PVP tretment for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). My condition is improving.

On December 24 I called the on-call doctor due to my greatly diminished urinary flow. I wanted to know what to do if the flow stopped completely ("retention"). He said to continue taking 2 Flomax per day and to go to the ER if I went into retention. That would have been a bummer on Christmas Eve.

It didn't happen, and yesterday and today the flow has definitely improved. Perhaps the reason is related to the blood clots I'm starting to see...maybe they were clogging up things? After almost no visible blood for about 4 days, I'm now seeing a little almost every time I go to the bathroom. The doctor told me to expect that, but I thought he meant right after the Green Light procedure. Oh well, whatever.

I ran up the 3 flights of stairs at work today...a little less vigorously than normal, to avoid any un-necessary jostling.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 6 Days after Surgery

Virtually all my discomfort is gone, but my urine flow continues to diminish. In fact, it's down to about where it was when I finally decided I had to have the Green Light procedure. Today is Sunday and also Christmas Eve, and tomorrow will be Christmas Day...not great times to seek medical assistance. I don't know whether or not to call the doctor today (via Medical Exchange) and seek assistance, because I figure he'll just insert a catheter and tell me to come see him Tuesday.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - 5 Days after Surgery

My recovery continues. A couple of days after surgery my urine flow began to decrease to pre-surgical levels. It has gotten a little better since, but is nothing like the flowrate I expected. Maybe the prostate is still swollen from its laser-induced trauma. I have returned to taking 2 Flomax per day.

Urinary-tract burning has gotten much better, but it is still there. I wonder if they used a harsh antibacterial soap in the urethra before surgery.

The good news is:
-- No incontinence
-- No impotence
-- No blood in urine
-- No pain (except burning on urination)

A word about coffee:
A week before the procedure I began to cut back on caffeine, and I was way, way down when I went in for the GreenLight procedure. I think that was wise, because otherwise I would have been in caffeine withdrawal during recovery.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - Day after Surgery

Well, it's noon the day after surgery and I continue to feel good. There is no discomfort from the prostate area. The severe burning sensation while urinating has considerably diminished, although it's still not a lot of fun to pee. My stream has not improved tremendously, but the doctor said it requires about a week. I took a Flomax this morning and probably will do so for a few more days. (Down from 2/day previously.)

The amount of blood in the urine is tiny, probably just a few drops. No blood clots have been seen.

I'm continuing to avoid lifting heavy objects, but I probably will go shopping later today.

Oh, and I'm not impotent :-)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

GreenLight Prostate Procedure Patient Report - Day of Surgery

Over the last year my BPH continued slowly getting worse, so this morning I had the GreenLight PVP procedure. That procedure vaporizes parts of the prostate gland by use of a powerful green laser.

After 12 hours, it's so far so good...generally.

At 5:30 AM my loving wife and I showed up at the designated medical clinic. I was suitably starved and dehydrated (NPO since midnight, and not really a problem). The staff was very friendly and nice, and soon enough had me interviewed and hooked up to an IV (took 2 sticks). The anesthesia nurse came by to ask her questions and look at my throat. The urologist came by to say hi and make certain I didn't want to back out (kind of late for that!). Then they wheeled me into the OR. I think they put a mask over my face.

A moment later I was awake in the recovery room, alone except for a few staff members. I don't know how long it took to wake up, but from the moment I remember I was fully conscious and alert, no nausea, no pain. I had to lie there for about half an hour, chatting sometimes with the fellow assigned to me. During that time no other patients entered the room...very odd, given that many people choose elective surgery at the end of the year because they have already met their insurance deductible. I looked down to verify that I had a catheter inserted, which they had done after the anesthesia took effect.

After the allotted time in the recovery room they wheeled me back to the private room where my wife was waiting. I felt fine, ready to hop up and run around, except the IV and catheter were still hooked up. We waited for maybe an hour, then came the moment of truth...I had to see if I could pee. The nurse injected 200 ml of water into my bladder through the catheter, then pulled it out and handed me a urinal. I went into the restroom and peed about 300 ml of rose-wine looking liquid into the urinal. Success! I could go home without a catheter!

The urologist gave me scripts for 3 medicines, 2 of which were not sold by CVS, Walgreen's or the local grocery store pharmacies. After much calling around we found a small independently-owned pharmacy that sold them. At least one, "UTA" (which probably stands for Urinary Tract Analgesic) was probably made on the spot by the druggist. It is supposed to turn the urine blue, but after 5 hours that has not happened and precious little analgesia has happened.

In about half an hour I was riding home with my wife at the wheel. Since there was no drowsiness or pain I could have driven without difficulty, but I'm sure the hospital would not have allowed it.

The only discomfort I have had in the 12 hours since the procedure is intense burning when I pee. Did I mention it was painful? It feels like somebody stuck a hot rod about one-fourth inch into the end of my urethra. I would love for that UTA to go to work!! The location suggests that they didn't lubricate the catheter too well before they inserted it...or maybe they did and then stuck some sand onto it .

For the first few hours after the procedure there was essentially no blood visible in the urine, but now it has a color like pinkish champagne. No blue is visible in the urine, and no blood clots are either.