Surgical Treatment

Pre-surgical Exercise

Engaging in an exercise program pre-surgery has been shown to reduce the adverse effects of surgery on your body, thereby aiding your recovery. The benefits of pre-surgical exercise have been well-documented, resulting in considerable improvements in neuromuscular strength, cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition, whilst also acting as a buffer to help preserve functional capacity post surgery. It is advised you consult with an accredited exercise physiologist before commencing any pre-surgical exercise program, to ensure the program is targeted to your individual needs.

Surgical Interventions

Surgical procedures for prostate cancer differ depending upon the size and stage of your cancer, your symptoms and general health. If your physician advises surgery, you may undergo one of three surgical procedures that vary in the possible side effects post-procedure. It is important before any operation, to discuss any potential side effects with your physician so you understand what is involved.

There are number of potential short term and long term side effects following surgery which may influence your exercise participation, however these may differ depending upon the type of surgical procedure. In general, there is often a considerable loss of muscle and bone with a concurrent gain in fat due to temporary immobilisation and restricted activity levels acutely post-surgery. Some other general side-effects are as follows:-

Short Term Effects Long Term Effects
Pain Pain
Infection Loss of Flexibility
Limited Range of Motion Nerve Damage
Fatigue Blood Clots
Bleeding (internally/externally) Slow Recovery of Body Functions

1) Radical Prostatectomy

  • Involves removal of the prostate gland containing the tumour.
  • Likely to spend 2-7 days in hospital.
  • A tube (catheter) is in place for 1-2 weeks after surgery.

2) Transurethral Resection of the Prostate

  • Involves removing a section of the inner part of the prostate gland.
  • Likely to spend 1-2 days in hospital.
  • A tube (catheter) is in place for 2-3 days post surgery.

3) Orchidectomy

  • Involves removal of the testicles to reduce testosterone production.
  • No longer common due to alternative therapies (i.e. ADT).


Exercise following surgery

Before commencing any exercise post-surgery it is important to consult an accredited exercise physiologist to receive appropriate guidelines based upon your treatment, condition and symptoms.

Generally - following surgery - allow up to six weeks to heal and recover before fully engaging in your exercise program. However, it is important to remain mobile and active following your procedure, therefore aspire to perform a modified program, initially, and then progress to our Beginner Exercise Program in consultation with your accredited exercise physiologist.

Remember, exercise is very important to reduce anxiety, depression and fatigue while increasing physical function and quality of life. Ultimately, exercise will help minimise your risk of obtaining other cancers or associated diseases through improved body composition and other health benefits.