Abnormal sensation and shorter penis after radical prostatectomy

Posted by havhav @havhav, Nov 28, 2022

My husband is about two weeks out after a radical prostatectomy. He had his urinary catheter removed today. Still has small amount of edema along lower abdomen and possible a bit in his scrotum though the initial edema he had there has resolved. Incision doing well. He is quite disturbed by the fact his penis appears shorter and its sensation is abnormal so it doesn’t feel like the same body part as before. Have others had this experience? Is it temporary related to surgery still and possibly some swelling left around the area or is a shorter penis and abnormal sensation more of a permanent thing? 😳

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Hello, I wish your husband a fast recovery and I also wish for strength for you as you walk this road with him. My husband also had a radical prostatectomy and the shorter penis is a thing. The weird sensation is also a thing and in our case both things were permanent. His penis will feel foreign to him and also to you. With time, it may normalize a bit but it will never feel/be the same. That was at least our experience. All the best to you and your husband.

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This is normal, unfortunately. My surgeon told me to expect it, but, he didn't tell me to the very last minute.
Horribly oversimplified but….

A) in this surgery they take some of the urethra out, (the area where the prostate is and whatever margins they take) then pull the two ends together and attache the ends with stitches. Think removing the part of a hose where a hole is and putting the two parts back together, it's gonna be a little shorter.

B) for about 4-6 mos it seemed to me there was a lot of turtle-ing happening think dip in cold water. My guess is as a result of what the body just went through. Even when that improved, you still have some loss of size.

C) it likely feels different because some nerve damage was done at the same time. It takes a LONG time for nerve to heal and grow, how much things go back toward normal is different for everyone. It depends on surgical skill, how much tissue had to be removed and other factors.

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I had radical prostatectomy 1 year ago and to me he is experiencing normal symptoms. I’m not a medical person. I’m a patient. I experienced changing sensations all along the way as the healing process continues. A shorter penis is documented as well. You can look this up. 2 weeks from surgery is very early in the recovery. Hang in there as you will improve. We all heal at different rates however I don’t expect to ever be the same as pre surgery. So far I have not had a prostate cancer recurrence thankfully.

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Hello,
This is not uncommon. My husband dealt with the same issue. Best to ask your physician about options.
Best wishes,
Dee

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@havhav, In addition to the helpful replies you've received already, you may appreciate the posts in this related discussion where @jeanadair123 aked similar questions:
– Shrinking penis after surgery and radiation https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/shrinking-penis-after-surgery-and-radiation/

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@jaye88

Hello, I wish your husband a fast recovery and I also wish for strength for you as you walk this road with him. My husband also had a radical prostatectomy and the shorter penis is a thing. The weird sensation is also a thing and in our case both things were permanent. His penis will feel foreign to him and also to you. With time, it may normalize a bit but it will never feel/be the same. That was at least our experience. All the best to you and your husband.

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Thank you for your response. It’s helpful though daunting to realize that this may be a long term concern. He is starting Cialis as there are studies that have shown it any be of some benefit however we realize that some changes will be more permanent. We might as well do what can at this early stage for what it’s worth. I’m sure we can adjust over time, just weren’t expecting the change of sensation portion of it in particular.

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@bfg1

I had radical prostatectomy 1 year ago and to me he is experiencing normal symptoms. I’m not a medical person. I’m a patient. I experienced changing sensations all along the way as the healing process continues. A shorter penis is documented as well. You can look this up. 2 weeks from surgery is very early in the recovery. Hang in there as you will improve. We all heal at different rates however I don’t expect to ever be the same as pre surgery. So far I have not had a prostate cancer recurrence thankfully.

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Thanks for your response, and the pep talk. Much appreciated. Prostate cancer is a tough road to follow.

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