Shocking news, but some things are actually bigger than golf.
Prostate cancer is a serious matter, but playing golf after prostate surgery is ALSO a serious matter.
Be very careful not to rush things and head back to the course sooner than your doctor would recommend.
How soon can I play golf after prostate surgery?
Golfing activities can typically be resumed in the third or fourth week, starting with walking short distances and taking frequent breaks. However, swinging your golf club may require waiting a bit longer, as it’s best not to resume until about 8 weeks post-surgery, according to Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.
Understanding prostate surgery
Types of prostate surgery
Prostate surgery is performed to treat various conditions, including prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The most common types of prostate surgery include:
- Radical prostatectomy: The complete removal of the prostate gland, often used to treat prostate cancer.
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): The removal of part of the prostate gland, typically done to treat BPH.
- Laparoscopic/robotic-assisted prostatectomy: A minimally invasive technique to remove the prostate gland, utilizing a laparoscope or robot assistance.
Like any surgery, prostate surgery carries risks and possible complications. Some common complications include:
- Infection: Both the surgery site and the urinary tract may be at risk of infection following prostate surgery.
- Bleeding: Blood loss can occur during surgery, potentially requiring a blood transfusion.
- Erectile dysfunction: Due to the proximity of the nerves and blood vessels responsible for erections, temporary or permanent erectile dysfunction can occur.
- Urinary incontinence: Difficulty controlling urination can be a temporary or long-lasting side effect.
Golf recovery process post prostate surgery
The recovery process after prostate surgery varies depending on factors like age and overall health. Some general guidelines for the post-operative period include:
- Foley catheter: A catheter may be placed for urine drainage and is typically removed after 1-2 weeks.
- Activity level: Gradually increasing your activity is essential for recovery. Start by walking short distances and increase as you feel comfortable.
- Avoid heavy lifting: Refrain from lifting heavy objects for at least 6 weeks following surgery.
- Monitor for complications: Keep an eye out for signs of infection or other complications, and contact your healthcare provider if you notice any concerns.
It’s important to follow your doctor’s specific advice and guidelines for your recovery process. Realistically, it may take six to eight weeks before you return to your pre-surgical stamina and strength.
Take the time to heal, and do not rush your return to activities like golf until you receive clearance from your healthcare provider.
Post-surgery recovery timeline
Initial recovery period
After your prostate surgery, you can expect to return home within 24 to 48 hours following a robotic or laparoscopic prostatectomy, or three to five days following an open prostatectomy. During this initial recovery period, it’s crucial to take it easy and avoid strenuous activity.
You may experience some discomfort, swelling, and fatigue during this time. Additionally, you’ll likely have a catheter to manage incontinence temporarily.
It’s essential to follow your doctor’s recommendations for self-care, including lifting restrictions and avoiding unnecessary strain on the surgical area.
Regaining strength and activity levels
As you progress through your recovery, focus on gradually increasing your physical activity levels. You may start with gentle exercises such as walking and stretching, which can help reduce fatigue and improve overall health.
It’s vital to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard, as overexertion may delay the recovery process.
During this time, you should also work on improving continence. Practicing exercises designed to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles can help restore bladder control. Monitor your progress and don’t forget to discuss any concerns with your healthcare team.
Resuming golf and other sports
When it comes to resuming golf and other sports, it’s essential to wait at least six weeks after your surgery.
This time period is necessary for proper physical rehabilitation and recovery. Consult with your doctor and physical therapist to determine when you’re ready to return to your favorite activities.
Once you’ve received the green light to resume playing golf, take it slow and ease back into your routine.
Avoid overexertion and any activities that may place excessive strain on your surgical area, such as heavy lifting or high-impact sports. It’s also crucial to continue monitoring your PSA levels to ensure your prostate health remains stable.
By following your healthcare team’s guidance and these recovery principles, you can successfully reestablish your activity levels and enjoy your favorite pastimes, like golf, sooner rather than later.
Golf after prostate surgery
Considerations for safe play
After undergoing prostate surgery, it’s essential that you prioritize your recovery and follow your doctor’s recommendations.
Usually, you should wait at least 6 weeks after your surgery before attempting a round of golf.
This time period is crucial for rehabilitation and recovery. During this time, you should:
- Consult with your doctor and physical therapist regularly
- Gradually increase your activity level without overexerting yourself
- Monitor your pain and discomfort
- Take necessary precautions for urinary incontinence
Gradual return to the game
When you receive clearance to start playing golf again, ease back into the game. Begin with low-impact exercises, such as walking, to help restore your cardiovascular health.
You can then increase the intensity and maybe just walk 9 holes.
- Take breaks when necessary
- Listen to your body and stop if you experience pain or discomfort
- Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your play
Adjusting your swing and technique
As you return to golf, try and get a feel for your swing and make some small tweaks if you feel your natural swing is causing any discomfort.
Try focusing on:
- Reducing strain on your body, especially near the surgery area
- Maintaining proper form and posture during your swing
- Avoiding running or other high-impact activities on the course
- Practicing your swing and gradually increasing its strength
By following these guidelines, you can safely reintegrate golf into your routine while prioritizing your health and recovery.
Keep in close contact with your healthcare team for advice and guidance throughout the process.
Golf after prostate biopsy
After a prostate biopsy, you might be eager to get back on the golf course. However, it’s essential to give your body enough time to recover and avoid possible complications.
Generally, you can resume playing golf approximately 7-14 days after the procedure, depending on the type of biopsy you have. During this period, it’s crucial to follow your doctor’s recommendations and monitor your recovery.
In the initial days following the biopsy, you should avoid exercise or strenuous activity for at least two to three days. This rest period allows the surgical area to heal, recover, and minimize swelling or discomfort.
Remember, everyone’s recovery process is different, and your timeline for returning to golf after a prostate biopsy might vary. Always consult with your healthcare provider and follow their guidance to ensure a safe and successful return to the golf course.
Managing urinary issues
Urinary control and catheter use
After prostate surgery, it’s normal to experience changes in urinary control.
Initially, you might need a urinary catheter to help with the flow of urine. Make sure to follow your doctor’s advice on catheter use and care throughout your recovery.
Avoid activities that could strain the area near the catheter, such as vigorous workouts like cycling, to prevent injury and ensure proper healing.
Kegel exercises and the benefits
Kegel exercises are crucial to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and regain urinary control after surgery.
Practicing these exercises daily can effectively help with urinary incontinence and even improve erectile dysfunction.
Here’s a simple way to perform Kegel exercises:
- Locate the pelvic floor muscles by stopping your urine flow midstream.
- Tighten these muscles for 5 seconds, then relax for 5 seconds.
- Repeat this 10 to 20 times, at least 3 times a day.
It may take a few weeks to see improvements, but consistency is key.
Remember to consult your healthcare team before beginning any exercise regimen.
Addressing incontinence during golf
Once you’ve received clearance from your doctor and feel ready to resume playing golf, it’s important to manage incontinence while on the course.
Here are some practical tips:
- Use protective guards, pads, or adult diapers to help manage leaks.
- Plan your golf outings around restroom availability, ensuring that you take breaks as needed.
- Stay hydrated, but avoid excessive liquid intake, especially caffeinated or alcoholic beverages which may exacerbate symptoms.
- Maintain a consistent practice of Kegel exercises to help reduce incontinence episodes over time.
It’s important to give yourself sufficient time to recover after prostate surgery before resuming activities like golf.
The recommended waiting period is usually 4-6 weeks post-surgery, but always consult your healthcare team for personalized guidance.
Get back onto the golf course with confidence, keeping in mind the tips for managing urinary issues while playing.
Consulting your doctor
Discussing golf and exercise plans
Before you resume golf or exercise after prostate surgery, it’s crucial to consult your doctor.
Openly discuss your desire to return to golf, and they will recommend appropriate exercise plans. They may consider your past medical history, the nature of your surgery, and your current medication.
It’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions and communicate any concerns or difficulties you encounter during your recovery. Your doctor may adjust your exercise routine to ensure it’s challenging but safe.
Monitoring progress and adjusting activities
Your doctor will closely monitor your progress throughout the recovery period. This might involve regular check-ups and possibly scheduling additional physical therapy sessions, depending on your needs.
During these consultations, your doctor will evaluate your physical abilities, recommend modifications to your activities, and determine when you’re ready for more strenuous exercises.
As you regain strength and your function improves, ensure you communicate your progress with your doctor, keeping them informed about any pain or discomfort you may experience.
Remember to be patient with your body as it heals and to work closely with your doctor to ensure a safe and effective return to the golf course and other physical activities.