Only a guy with balls of steel will dare say he will be back to work after a radical prostatectomy. Then again, some people’s workload is different from what the rest of us mere mortals have to put up with in the office, factory or construction site.

The surgical procedure in question involves wholesale removal of the prostate gland, the surrounding tissue and seminal vesicles. Depending on circumstances, the lymph nodes around the prostate gland may also be removed. There’s quite a lot of missing plumbing parts after closing the hood. The robot-assisted prostatectomy operation is performed with laparoscopic instruments, puncturing through five to six keyhole-sized incisions in the abdomen. Needless to say, keyholes come in various diameters.

Ng Eng Hen is probably a better doctor than a defence minister – Singapore did pledge to
contribute about US$50 million to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter development effort – and he was more cautious with medical advice than the wantonness with taxpayer monies:
“I used to give patients a month to six weeks of MC to recuperate. I would tell them that it may be keyhole on the outside, but full surgery has been done inside. Even after minimally invasive surgery, the body needs time to heal, regain its energy and usual rhythm.”

But budget day is round the corner, and the surpluses will need to be sliced up like your order from Pizza Hut. And the pesky opposition still needs to be fixed. As they say, there’s no rest for the wicked.

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