cycling post prostatectomy

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tallywhacker
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cycling post prostatectomy

Postby tallywhacker » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:29 am

I have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer which unfortunately needs active treatment. I have opted for a prostatectomy which is the removal of the prostate.
I'm not interested in people offering their opinions on the pros and cons of various treatment methods, what I am after is hearing from fellow cyclists who have had this procedure and what you experienced afterwards in relation to getting back on the bike (non-bike related experiences are also welcome). My urologist is a cyclist (he has ridden several l'etape du tours) but can't really tell me what to expect in the real world.
PM me if you don't want to discuss this in an open forum.

TonyB
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:44 am

Re: cycling post prostatectomy

Postby TonyB » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:41 pm

Hi Tallywhacker,

I had a dreaded RP about 7 years ago, from talking to other people who have had a RP, every experience is slightly different, my main advice is work on strengthening your Pelvic Floor as soon as possible as it will help in post RP recovery, I would also get some professional advice on how to and what are the best exercises, my PC was advanced and I did not have much time to work on my Pelvic Floor before the RP and my recovery took a while. I need to do Pelvic Floor exercises for the rest of my life, I now do Palates to help.

I do a lot of riding because I don't have continence problems while cycling, as I do when running or on long walks, but I have heard of other cyclist who do had problems.

Please feel free to PM me if you want to as more questions.

Tony

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tallywhacker
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Re: cycling post prostatectomy

Postby tallywhacker » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:37 pm

hi Tony

it is heartening that you are riding after the operation with no issues. I have been doing pelvic floor exercises for a year or so for back issues, just not sure what to expect mainly from the continence/comfort side of things when I get back to cycling and skiing.

awinner
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Re: cycling post prostatectomy

Postby awinner » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:48 pm

I had a prostatectomy in October last year. I started cycling again after giving it up in my teens because the doc said I wasn't allowed to lift weights but I could walk and ride as much as i wanted. Planning to go on my first club ride on Saturday.

Continence after the op can vary hugely. I'm one of the lucky ones to be fully continent in a very short time. Head over to the prostate cancer of Australia forums. People are happy to talk about their experiences.

nemo57
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Re: cycling post prostatectomy

Postby nemo57 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:08 pm

Me too ...
RP in January 2017, right around the time I got hold of my lovely 70s George McDonald frame and sent it off to Gordon Hill for rejuvenation, it being my intention, like @awinner, to resume an activity I loved as a kid.
Dunno about you, but I was told 6 weeks recovery from the RP before riding. It probably was about that, and was able to gently resume. No problems in terms of riding comfort in the groin at that stage: it's not involved in the RP. And nothing else was affected at all. Yes there's a bit of tenderness in the abdomen but you won't be trying to bust your boiler, will you?
(But EVERY operation has a 6 week recovery time, according to the medical profession. I've had plenty, and some do, some don't.)
And I've been lucky or determined on the incontinence front: essentially fully dry from a couple of months out. That seems to be a bit of a lottery, though learning and doing your pelvic floor exercises is very important. But even if you leak like a sieve, it won't stop you riding: just wear a bigger pad.
The other thing yer urologist has probly talked about is sexual function post-op. Unless you're a far better man than I you won't ever again crack a fat like you used-ta-could. Though I guess that depends on the degree of nerve-sparing involved in the RP. Fear not - you will most likely still have pleasant sensations available. Three possibilities: pills, pump or implant.
I went bionic in May, just as soon as surgeon was free. Recovery was slow and painful - around 2 months. But it's been 2nd puberty without the mess, me boy, and I would heartily recommend it to any bloke. ("Innkeeper, bring me another concubine, I seem to have worn this one out ...") One drawback though: the pump sits in the scrotum and does tend to be weight-bearing on the cycle. Can get plenty sore, though over time it's improving. Got me a Specialized saddle with cutout that helps a bit more than the old B17, and if I were seriously troubled I'd look further into other saddles that support only the sit-bones.
On the sexual function front, have a look at http://www.franktalk.org/
There's loads of mis/information there.
So it's all going to be good!

awinner
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Re: cycling post prostatectomy

Postby awinner » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:02 am

6 weeks for exercise is usually for open RP. I was given the ok to ride at 2 weeks, though i only started at 4weeks. I did get a selle smp composit to ease the pressure.

With robotic surgery the incisions are all above the belly button.

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tallywhacker
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Re: cycling post prostatectomy

Postby tallywhacker » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:49 am

I haven't seen the surgeon yet so don't have recovery time estimates but the times you guys are talking about are fantastic. Unfortunately I tore my lateral ligament 2 weeks ago in a ski accident and haven't been able to ride so I have lost a bit of bike fitness. $hit tends to happen in groups

Pasley69
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Re: cycling post prostatectomy

Postby Pasley69 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:35 pm

Prostatectomy and cycling
Hi, I am a 72 yo male - also a keen touring cyclist. Around 18 months ago I had a radical prostatectomy (total removal of the prostate). I was advised to wait 8 weeks before cycling - I lasted 6 weeks then gave in and went for a ride. I guess timing is partly dependent on the type of operation (mine was 5 tiny holes in my abdomen.

I reckon I lost around 3-4km/h in fitness. Being still hopeful of becoming incontinent again I didn't use pads - instead I used this condom-like thing on my !!! spammer !!! with a short tube into a bag on my leg. Real clumsy and just didn't work well, so I used a meter long tube down inside my bike pants, and like the old railway carriage toilets just dropped it all as I went along. Looked like the worst varicose vein down my leg. When it became obvious I wasn't going to be continent quickly I started using pads. [and any extra padding is good, right? :-) well yes unless it is soaked in urine :-( ] . Improvement has been gradual - continent all night, around 50-100 ml in pads per day as long as I go to the toilet every 2 hours.

I am still incontinent to some degree. But on say a 5 hour 100km ride my pad will absorb maybe 20ml. I can live quite happily with that, but it is getting expensive. I still use the same bikes, saddle and positions as I had before the op.

NEW SADDLE
Unfortunately my PSA level has started rising again, and I'll be having radiation treatment in the not too distant future. Before that I need to complete any surgical interventions that may be necessary to deal with the incontinence. If I am fitted with a male urethra sling or artificial urinary sphincter I will no longer be able to use a normal bicycle seat as these may well damage the devices. Various seats with very wide comfort slots all the way to noseless saddles, such as the Spiderflex, have been suggested.

I am now trying a Spiderflex saddle which is like two oval donuts for the sit-bones. Is quite stable, but not comfortable for me. Leaning forward on my road bike it is like resting with a steel bar under my upper thighs. With a very upright position it might work, but not for now. My next trial is a normal type seat with a very large and wide cutout on top.

Unfortunately I haven't yet been able to locate a sports medicine doctor who knows something about the issues and the need/usefulness of alternative saddle styles. It may be that the urologist is being unduly pessimistic and an ordinary saddle will quite OK.

It would be interesting to hear from anyone else with the same problem.

If you have any more specific questions I'll try to answer them.

Thanks in advance
Adrian

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