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Pre-RP Shopping List & Post-RP Suggestions

[This was posted to a PCa newsgroup by Joe Price and is archived here with his permission. It is not medical advice.]

With the indulgence of the NewsGroup, I am reposting this list of supplies that could prove helpful to have on hand when you get home from the hospital following a radical prostatectomy.

I compiled the original list back in September, before my own operation from responses I got to a request here for suggestions. Since then I have re-posted periodically it to make it available to the newly diagnosed. Each time it is posted, a few more suggestions are added. The newsgroup is so active that items scroll off newsreaders quickly.

One thing I would like to make clear up front - the list is exhaustive because I have included everything everyone has ever suggested. This does NOT mean you should run out and buy everything on this list. Some of these items are in the "luxury - nice to have" category and others are specific remedies some individuals found they needed for complaints that may have been specific to them.

Read through the list and at least think about what is here and what its purpose is. Get creative in thinking how you might adapt something you already have around the house to function in the place of some of these items.

Certain activities, not strictly hardware items, were recommended frequently. These include doing Kegels prior to surgery and walking, both before and after.

Here goes:


• A pair of oversized basketball type warm-up pants with snaps or zipper up the leg (to allow discreet access to the catheter and bag) both large (night) bags and smaller (day) bags - provided by the hospital.

• antibiotic ointment/lubricant (Polysporin) for where catheter exits (may be supplied by hospital)

• a pillow to hug early on to ease pain in laughing etc. (I didn't have a need for this).

• a pair of slippers or sandals or loafers

• grab bars in the area of the commode (don't use towel racks for grab bars!)

• a cushy pillow to put between your knees while sleeping use a plastic coat hanger stuck between the mattress and box spring to hold the bag

• a soft bathrobe belt to make a shoulder strap to suspended the big bag if walking bag with the small bag is a problem (I did this - didn't like the "walking bag")

• "invalid" cushion (looks like an inner tube)

• have enough easy to prepare food on hand for 2-3 weeks

• book you've been intending to read

• Fresh batteries for your TV remote

• A cordless phone

• nice baggy, soft sweat pants or warm-ups - oversize with drawstring if the weather is warm inside the house or out of doors some big baggy mesh shorts

• Suspenders may be helpful, in place of a belt

• A five-gallon plastic bucket is very useful at night as a receptacle for the large "night bag"

• two dozen inexpensive white washcloths (in a big bundle)

• some of the little plastic, stick-on hooks to put in the shower etc., for a place to hang the bag (I used the pail, placed outside the tub)

• Silk/nylon/rayon boxer shorts for the period you have the catheter

• To help stave off possible urinary tract infection, either Ural (seems to be a Australia/New Zealand over the counter drug) or a supply of cranberry juice. They work in different ways to achieve the same thing.

• a watch or interval timer to remind you not to stay sitting too long over the counter stool softener

â Several people recommended buying, borrowing or otherwise acquiring the use of a reclining chair.

Repeated Advice:

• roll sideways out of bed (rather than sit on the edge trying to stand upright)

• walking is the best way to get your body ready and to recover

• wait to see how bad your incontinence is BEFORE purchasing a lot of pads etc.

• Kegel, pre-operation and post-catheter removal (not with catheter in)

Remember, what you are going through is TEMPORARY, in a few weeks you won't even remember the discomfort of some of this stuff!


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