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.

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