Staying safe after being discharged
Following your stay with us, the urologist treating you will organise your aftercare regime. If you experience any issues immediately after being discharged and cannot reach the doctor treating you (e.g. due to holiday or at the weekend), you can contact the Martini-Klinik during the day or, if you have issues overnight or at the weekend, visit the Emergency department at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). The Emergency department has urologists on duty around the clock. After being discharged, it will take some time for your body to fully recover from the treatment. Feeling exhausted and less resilient in the first few weeks is completely normal.
What to expect after surgery
After undergoing a prostatectomy, we strongly recommend that all patients engage in tumour aftercare.
Monitoring your PSA level is an important part of this aftercare. PSA is usually produced in the prostate. However, once the prostate has been removed, this level should fall towards zero. (The exact value can vary depending on the laboratory conducting the tests, as they may have different detection limit values). You should expect your PSA level to fall to zero after three months. If, despite the surgery, prostate carcinoma cells are still present in the body, such as because tumour cells have spread beyond the prostate, these would then produce PSA. Your urologist will carry out this blood test, urine tests and monitor changes to your bladder and urethral sphincter.
We recommend having the following tests and arranging check-ups at the following intervals:
- Medical examination / laboratory tests (PSA level)
- In the first two years: every three months
- In the third and fourth years: every six months
- After five years: every twelve months
- X-rays, CT scans, scintigraphy: only if necessary
- Ultrasound: if recommended by your urologist
These are only rough guidelines. Your urologist will adjust the dates of your check-ups to your personal situation. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or comments following your stay at the Martini-Klinik.
Your health is very important to us, including after your treatment. One parameter we use to measure treatment success is our patients’ quality of life, which is why we will ask you to answer our research questions at regular intervals.
Prof. Dr. Markus Graefen
Recommendations for adjuvant radiotherapy following radical prostatectomy
Data on the indications for adjuvant radiotherapy, especially in conjunction with hormone therapy, remains very much in flux. We therefore revise our recommendations at regular intervals in line with the latest findings and insights. You can view our current recommendations for adjuvant radiotherapy following radical prostatectomy, based on post-surgical histology, in the following table.
Rehabilitation on an inpatient or outpatient basis could be an option for you. Following a radical prostatectomy, you can undergo a course of follow-up treatment to aid your recovery. This course begins around one week after removal of the indwelling catheter. In most cases, these rehabilitation programmes last around three weeks.
For patients resident in Germany, this rehabilitation programme is covered by the German statutory pension insurance scheme, regardless of whether you are privately insured. If you are a civil servant in Germany, the civil servant employee benefit programme (Beihilfe) and private health insurance cover the rehab programme. If you would like to sign up for this course of follow-up treatment, you must inform us during your inpatient stay so that we can make the necessary arrangements. You can inform our nursing team or doctors of this request.
We require the following information to register you for this follow-up treatment:
- the name of your pension insurance provider
- your pension insurance number (which is detailed on your pension information letter and other pension-related documentation)
- the name of your private health insurance provider and insurance policy number
- the name of your Beihilfe programme and insurance policy number (for civil servants)
Numerous specialist institutions can provide a course of follow-up treatment following radical prostatectomy. Our post-surgery rehabilitation team would be happy to advise you and help you to organise and plan your treatment. A colleague from our post-surgery rehabilitation team will visit you during your stay and inform you of your follow-up treatment options. Follow-up treatment is not medically necessary; you can also perform exercises to strengthen your sphincter on an outpatient basis, close to your home. In addition, many patients remain fully continent without any physiotherapy exercises at all.
Providing your data for research purposes
We want to know how you’re doing, whether it’s weeks, months or years after undergoing treatment with us.
Has the treatment helped you? Did you experience any side effects? How would you assess your quality of life? At the Martini-Klinik, these questions form a central part of our patient aftercare and also help us to continuously improve the quality of our treatments. In addition, by answering our questions, you will be making a significant contribution to scientific research into prostate carcinoma and the development of treatments.
We have been continuously building and developing the Martini-Klinik database, which forms the basis of our scientific work, for more than 30 years. Many of our research findings have already brought about a better understanding of prostate carcinoma and thereby helped to improve diagnosis and treatment of the disease. However, despite all the advances achieved to date, further research will be required to finally find a cure for advanced prostate cancer in the future, and perhaps even prevent cancer from occurring in the first place.
How can you support us?
If you give your consent during your stay with us, we will include you in our online patient survey. You will then receive a questionnaire via email one month before your treatment, four weeks after your treatment, six months after your treatment and on an annual basis thereafter.
We would be delighted if you could support our research. This is the only way we can offer innovative diagnostic techniques and treatments for future patients to improve their quality of life and their chances of recovery.
The complete removal of the prostate (radical prostatectomy) is primarily recommended as a treatment method when the cancer is localised in the prostate. This surgery is currently the most common treatment approach and is an established, tried-and-tested method. It has been used to treat localised prostate carcinoma for many years.