Why Is Radical Prostatectomy Done
Radical prostatectomy is a treatment for prostate cancer that prevents cancer from spreading outside the prostate gland. It may cure prostate cancer by removing it completely.
For patients diagnosed with prostate cancer, additional tests may be needed to determine the how far the cancer has spread. These tests help your provider decide if you are a candidate for radical prostatectomy:
What Is A Prostatectomy
A prostatectomy is a major procedure, carried out by a urological surgeon , in which all or part of the prostate gland is removed in men. It can be ordered by your doctor to treat prostate cancer and as part of treating some of the other types of cancer that can affect the pelvic region.
A prostatectomy can often cure prostate cancer if it has not spread outside the prostate gland. Prostatectomies are also performed in the treatment of non-cancerous conditions affecting the prostate, such as:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia , when the gland becomes enlarged and causes urinary problems
- Prostatitis, in which it becomes inflamed
There are several different types of prostatectomy. The prostate surgery option used depends on why the procedure is being performed:
- A radical prostatectomy will be carried out as a treatment for malignant cancer. The surgeon will remove the entire prostate gland as well as the vas deferens, the duct which conveys sperm from the testicals to the urethra, and the seminal vesicles, the glands which hold the liquid which mixes with sperm to make semen.
- A simple prostatectomy, in which only part of the prostate is removed, will be carried out to treat a more benign condition, such as BPH.
Removal of the prostate may result in complications, including impotence, which in most cases is temporary. Several different types of treatment exist to help correct erectile dysfunction after the operation. This is called penile rehabilitation therapy.
Less Time Under Anesthesia With Open Prostatectomy
An open prostatectomy, however, is a much shorter surgery than the robotic procedure, which means patients spend less time under anesthesia. Length of anesthesia for an open prostatectomy is 2 to 3 hours, compared to 4 to 7 hours for a robotic prostatectomy.
In several measures, there is no demonstrated difference between open and robotic prostatectomy. The risk of blood transfusion for an open prostatectomy is less than 1 percent, and fewer than 1 percent of patients have wound complications. Post-operative pain on the morning following surgery is typically 2 on a 10-point scale. The patients length of stay in the hospital is 1½ to 2 days. Approximately 85 percent of patients regain excellent urinary control, and three-quarters retain sexual potency.
While all precautions are taken to reduce the likelihood of complications, no surgical treatment is completely without risk. Potential complications of open and robotic prostatectomies include infection, bleeding requiring blood transfusion, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and injury to adjacent organs.
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Urination And Incontinence In The Postoperative Period
People who have undergone a prostatectomy will be taught how to operate the catheter before they leave hospital after the operation. The operation of most catheters is relatively similar and involves collecting the urine in a drainage bag, which can then be emptied into the lavatory. The drainage bag must be changed at appropriate intervals.
All men normally experience some level of incontinence after the catheter has been removed, particularly after involuntary bodily actions such as sneezing or laughing. It is also common to experience sudden impulses to urinate while the catheter is in place. This is called a bladder spasm. Bladder spasms should ideally not be particularly painful or occur very often. Therefore, it is wise to consult the doctor if they occur frequently enough to be bothersome or are accompanied by acute pain.
For most men, urinary problems are temporary and are effectively resolved by practicing pelvic floor and Kegel exercises regularly, as recommended by the doctor. Pads should be worn whilst urinary leakage is occurring and changed throughout the day as needed.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms after your surgery:
- Bleeding, swelling or drainage from the incisions.
- Inability to have a bowel movement.
- Inability to urinate after catheter removal.
- Increased pain around the incisions.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Radical prostatectomy is a common surgery to remove the entire prostate gland. This prostate cancer surgery may be robotic surgery or open surgery. Robotic surgery has a shorter recovery time. Full recovery can take weeks, with some side effects lasting for months. Light exercise and medication can help you heal faster.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/03/2021.
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What Is A Radical Prostatectomy
Surgery to remove the prostate is called a radical prostatectomy. Before the operation, the surgeon will explain what will happen and tell you about the possible side effects. They may also tell you about other treatments that may help in your situation, such as radiotherapy.
The aim of the surgery is to remove all of the cancer cells. It is usually only done when the cancer is contained within the prostate and has not spread to the surrounding area.
Getting Ready For Your Surgery
You and your care team will work together to get ready for your surgery.
Help us keep you safe during your surgery by telling us if any of the following statements apply to you, even if you arent sure.
- I take a blood thinner, such as:
About drinking alcohol
The amount of alcohol you drink can affect you during and after your surgery. Its important to talk with your healthcare providers about how much alcohol you drink. This will help us plan your care.
- If you stop drinking alcohol suddenly, it can cause seizures, delirium, and death. If we know youre at risk for these complications, we can prescribe medications to help keep them from happening.
- If you drink alcohol regularly, you may be at risk for other complications during and after your surgery. These include bleeding, infections, heart problems, and a longer hospital stay.
Here are things you can do before your surgery to keep from having problems:
If you smoke, you can have breathing problems when you have surgery. Stopping even for a few days before surgery can help. Your healthcare provider will refer you to our Tobacco Treatment Program if you smoke. You can also reach the program by calling .
About sleep apnea
Please tell us if you have sleep apnea or if you think you might have it. If you use a breathing device for sleep apnea, bring it with you the day of your surgery.
Ask about medications
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Life After Treatment: Alan Weiners Story
When Alan Weiner found out he had prostate cancer, it was a huge and frightening emotional bomb blast.
The New York native was diagnosed in February 2014 at age 69. After seeking out opinions from various doctors, Weiner underwent robotic prostatectomy in April at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Because of the emotional toll his diagnosis took, Weiner says he found a support group that helped him through that uncertain time in his life. I joined Gildas Club after surgery, but if I had known about it, I would have attended sessions prior to deciding treatment, he says. I found a friend who went through the process and was understanding of my anxieties, fears, and projections.
I never thought that the emotional aspects of this would be so difficult to deal with, Weiner adds. I never believed that the mortality rate of prostate cancer was very low, and I believed that I would be the one who would not make it. I now know that my fears and negative thinking were things most men go through, however.
Today, Weiner goes for routine checkups, and two years after his initial diagnosis, his PSA level is undetectable. He deals with persistent sexual dysfunction, but the bladder control issues he first experienced after his surgery have resolved.
When To Call Your Doctor Or Nurse
Its important to tell your doctor or nurse if:
- your bladder feels full or your catheter isnt draining urine
- your catheter leaks or falls out
- your urine contains blood clots, turns cloudy, dark or red, or has a strong smell
- your wound area or the tip of your penis becomes red, swollen or painful
- you have a fever
- you feel sick or vomit
- you get cramps in your stomach area that will not go away
- you get pain or swelling in the muscles in your lower legs.
Your doctor or nurse will let you know if you should go to the hospital.
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Adverse Reactions To The Anesthesia
If a person has a history of swelling of the face or generalized itching, it is important to inform the anesthetist before the procedure because, although allergic reactions to anesthesia can be mild, involving only wheezing or some skin irritation, it is also possible to experience an anaphylactic response which can be life-threatening.
Somebody suffering from an allergic reaction to an anesthetic may display signs like breathing difficulties, low blood pressure, rashes, hives and swollen skin around the eyes or mouth and throat. It is possible to perform tests prior to the surgery to identify which chemicals trigger an allergic reaction and if necessary an appropriate alternative anesthetic solution can then be chosen.
Other adverse reactions, such a muscle soreness, a sore throat from the breathing tube or nausea and vomiting after the surgery are a lot more common than allergic reactions. Around 10 percent of people will experience some kind of adverse reaction to anesthetic drugs, and anesthetists are trained to recognise and treat reactions as and when they occur during or after surgery.
What To Expect After Prostate Surgery
The surgeons at AdventHealth are known for providing excellence in patient outcomes, so you can expect good results from your surgery. After surgery you should plan on:
- Spending one night in hospital. Most patients go home within 24-hours
- Being back to normal activities within 1-2 weeks
- An early return of urinary control and sexual function based on preoperative function
- A short period of catheterization
- A low complication rate
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What Type Of Patients Are Candidates For Robotic Prostatectomy
Robotic laparoscopic prostatectomy is used to treat patients who have clinically localized prostate cancer. Most patients who are candidates for open radical prostatectomy are also excellent candidates for the robotic approach. In many centers including the University of Florida, the robotic approached is the treatment of choice for the surgical management of clinically localized prostate cancer.
Day Of Surgery Medications
You may take all your normal medications with a sip of water, except oral diabetic medication, ACE inhibitors and diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide . Call our office if you have any questions about your medications. Due to COVID-19 restrictions we encourage you to contact our hospital concierge for the latest visitor guidelines by calling .
On the day of your surgery, you may use valet parking or park in one of the lots in front of the building. Your procedure will take place at AdventHealth Celebration, located at 400 Celebration Place, Celebration, Florida 34747. You will need to report to the hospital main entrance. Our concierge will meet you in the front lobby of the hospital to escort you to the surgery area and walk you through the process.
After your surgery is completed, Dr. Patel will call your family and give them an update on your status.
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What You Need To Know About Prostate Surgery
What is prostate surgery for?
The prostate is a gland located underneath the bladder, in front of the rectum. It plays an important role in the part of the male reproductive system that produces fluids that carry sperm.
Surgery for partial or complete removal of the prostate is called a prostatectomy. The most common causes for prostate surgery are prostate cancer and an enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia .
Pretreatment education is the first step to making a decisions about your treatment. All types of prostate surgery can be done with general anesthesia, which puts you to sleep, or spinal anesthesia, which numbs the lower half of your body.
Your doctor will recommend a type of anesthesia based on your situation.
The goal of your surgery is to:
- cure your condition
- maintain the ability to have erections
- minimize side effects
- minimize pain before, during, and after surgery
Read on to learn more about the types of surgery, risks, and recovery.
The goal of prostate surgery also depends on your condition. For example, the goal of prostate cancer surgery is to remove cancerous tissue. The goal of BPH surgery is to remove prostate tissue and restore the normal flow of urine.
Facts Every Man Should Know Before Prostate Cancer Surgery
Many men want to know what prostate cancer surgery is like, including what to expect before surgery and what to expect afterwards.
Here are my findings based upon more than 1,000 phone calls to men the day before surgery, almost 700 visits to men the day after surgery and hundreds of calls from men in the weeks following surgery.
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Prostate Cancer Treatment Begins With Your Primary Physician
In most cases once you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, your primary care physician and/or urologist will assist you with the necessary tests required before prostate surgery. This should be done approximately four weeks before surgery. If you have any questions regarding pre-operative tests please email us or call at .
Keeping Up With Appointments And Screenings
Attending your doctors appointments after youve entered remission is very important. If you need to skip an appointment, you should make another appointment as soon as possible.
Use these appointments as a time to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor. Your doctor can also conduct tests to check for the cancers return during these appointments.
Two tests to detect recurrent prostate cancer include a digital rectal exam and a PSA blood test. During a DRE, your doctor will insert a finger into your rectum. If your doctor detects something unusual, theyll likely ask for additional follow-up tests. These tests may include bone scans and imaging studies, such as an ultrasound or MRI.
Men often experience side effects from their prostate cancer treatments. Some of these side effects may be immediate and temporary. Others may take several weeks or months to show up and never fully disappear.
Common side effects from prostate cancer treatment include:
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Surgery For Prostate Cancer And Ed
Prostate cancer tends to be a slow-growing cancer. Surgery may be a good option if your doctor believes the cancer is contained in the prostate gland. Surgery is also dependent on age, overall health, and other factors.
A radical prostatectomy involves the removal of the prostate gland. The prostate gland is a donut-shaped gland that surrounds the urethra just below the bladder. The urethra carries urine and semen out from the body through the penis.
There are some risks associated with surgery. Two small bundles of nerves on either side of the prostate are vulnerable to injury during the operation. A type of operation called nerve sparing surgery may be possible. This depends on the size and location of the cancer.
Surgery may require removal of some nerves if theres a chance the cancer has invaded one or both sets of nerves. If both sets of nerves are removed, you may not be able to achieve an erection without the assistance of medical devices.
What Research Efforts Are University Of Florida Surgeons Involved In To Enhance Result Of Robotic Prostatectomy
University of Florida robotic surgeons are involved in several exciting research projects pertaining to robotic pertaining to robotic prostatectomy. First, we are involved with prospective collection of perioperative outcomes for each patient undergoing robotic prostatectomy. In this way, our robotic surgeons track quality of life and cancer outcomes following surgery to assess trends in outcomes and the effects of changes in surgical technique or new technology on these outcome measures. Second, we are investigating new imaging modalities to identify the precise course and location of the neurovascular bundles as well as cancer sites during this procedure using novel MRI technology. Lastly we are developing a robotic surgical simulator to help better prepare and train residents and fellows on the technical nuances of robotic surgery.
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