Re: post surgery questions
As RCRoller said, the pathology report will really be the focus of your and the physician's attention. In it, the pathologist will report on the size and location of the tumor, the actual Gleason grade, the staging of the tumor, any unusual aspects of the tumor, as well as whether there was:
- Cancer extending beyond the prostate capsule
- Perineural invasion (cancer cells in the connecting nerves)
- Involvement with seminal vesicles
- Cancer spread to the bladder neck
- Cancer spread to the urethra
- Positive surgical margins (cancer cells left where the prostate was removed)
- Other indicia of cancer spread
Lymph nodes will have been removed and examined and you will learn if any show signs of cancer.
With luck, all of these will be negative, and your son will be sent on his way with a follow-up appointment. If the Gleason score has increased or there are any signs of cancer spread, your urologist will likely order a bone scan and possibly an MRI. He will also likely refer you to an oncologist for radiation/hormone treatments.
If his doctor has not discussed erectile dysfunction, that should be brought up. Your son will want to know that his nerves were "spared" during surgery and the prognosis for both erectile dysfunction and incontinence. It is common for a doctor to prescribe Cialis for erectile dysfunction, but perhaps not until six or more weeks after surgery.
If the pathology report indicates problems, you will want to ask questions, but what to ask depends on what is found. Rather than try to deal with them all upfront, you should be ready to request the doctor to answer questions later, perhaps by email. Don't worry, there's plenty of time to ask questions if need be.
I wish you and your son the best.
Last edited by Gleason9; 06-14-2011 at 08:41 AM.