Saturday, January 31, 2015

Penile Implant Surgery Tips

Did you ever wish for a re-do button that would allow you to re-do a decision or event knowing what you know today. Even though I'd spent hours on-line researching information on penile implants and reading dozens of threads written by men who've had surgery, I didn't get the information I needed.

I thought I'd make a list of things that I didn't know but wished I had. One week post surgery, if someone offered me a re-do button,  I'd push it without hesitation.

Knowing these ten recommendations would prevent a week of unrelenting pain. I'd have avoided waiting an extra 3-5 weeks to have my implant activated. I would have  reduced the number of weeks I had to stay at home unable to drive a car or go back to work. In other words, this list could save you from unnecessary grief, delays in healing,  and physical pain.

If you are considering a penile implant, allow this blog to replace your wish for a re-do button.

1. Insist your surgeon use a drain-otherwise your scrotum could swell up to the size of a grapefruit
2. Jock straps aren't the right support for everyone. Sometimes they will cause the pain you are trying to avoid. If you decide to use a jock strap make sure it's large enough to give you the scrotum support you need. Not all jock straps are created equal. The wrong strap will cause you serious pain.

3. If your scrotum is too large for comfortable support from the jack strap use a folded towel. Don't let a swollen scrotum just hang down with no support.
4. If compression underwear is comfortable use it. If it hurts go with loose fitting boxers with some form of scrotal support.
5. If non narcotic pain meds are not effective start with a STRONG narcotic pain med or you may suffer from unnecessary pain. It took a week of unrelenting pain before I got an effective pain med.
6. Don't over use ice. You can't decrease the time it take to reduce you swelling, but  it will feel good. No more than 20 minutes at a time. No more than 3-4 times in a day.
7. It takes effort to find a comfortable way to sit in a chair. You'll need some type of support under your scrotum in order to sit without discomfort.

8. Reclining chairs are wonderful. I slept in one for a week

9. If you sleep on your stomach as I do, you may find it necessary to sleep on your back. It was impossible for me to sleep on my back a flat bed. For the first week I slept on a recliner. Then my wife and I purchased a sleep number bed which allowed me to adjust the head and feet. With the head portion up I was able to sleep in bed, on my back.

10, Even with the most comfortable recliner and sleep number bed I could not fall asleep without the use of medication. I had my Doctor order a month supply of sleep medication  Every few days I'd  to go asleep without medication.  The following rule governs my use of medication for sleep: I'm still awake 1 hour past the time I go to bed, I'll take medication for sleep. I've used sleep medication seven out of the last eight nights.

Eight nights  post surgery (with severe scrotum swelling) It's too painful to sleep on my stomach and . I truly hate sleeping on my back, Our reclining chair was a life saver. What brought me back to my bedroom was a very expensive (but worth the price) sleep number bed with adjusting head and foot positioning. I long as my head is raised up by a 45 degree angle or more, with the help of medication, I can sleep well.

Sleep is essential for healing. If you have having difficulty in this area, make sure to discuss this with your Surgeon or your General Physician,  Sleep impacts how you will heal and how you will feel.

Rick Redner & Brenda Redner are the authors of:
I Left My Prostate In San Francisco-Where's Yours? 
Their award wining book was written to help men and couples cope with prostate cancer