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How Long Does Prostate Cancer Surgery Take

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When removing the prostate, surgeons attempt to conserve as much of the area around the sphincter and the bladder muscles around the urethra as possible, hence curbing damage to the sphincter.

Surgeons have likewise fine-tuned the procedure of putting radioactive seed implants, utilizing advanced computer system forecasts that permit the seeds to damage the prostate while limiting damage to the bladder.

Still, at this point, any male who is going through radiation or surgical treatment to deal with prostate cancer needs to anticipate establishing some issues with urinary control.

Some men will have just temporary issues managing their urine, and lots will gain back complete control of their bladder in time.

Types Of Prostate Surgery

There are several ways of removing the prostate keyhole surgery either by hand or robot-assisted, and open surgery.

Although robot-assisted keyhole surgery is the newest technique, the most recent research suggests all three techniques are as good as each other for treating prostate cancer, as long as the surgeon is experienced. They also have similar rates of side effects.

The advantages of keyhole surgery, both by hand and robot-assisted, are that you are likely to lose less blood, have less pain, spend less time in hospital, and heal more quickly than with open surgery.

Keyhole surgery

Keyhole surgery .

  • Robot-assisted keyhole surgery Your surgeon makes five or six small cuts in your lower abdomen and a slightly bigger cut near your belly button, and removes the prostate using special surgical tools. These include a thin, lighted tube with a small camera on the tip. The image will appear on a screen so the surgeon can see what theyre doing. Your surgeon controls the tools from a console in the operating room via four or five robotic arms. Although its called robot-assisted, its still a surgeon who does the operation. You may hear the equipment called the da Vinci® Robot.
  • Keyhole surgery by hand As with robot-assisted keyhole surgery, the surgeon will make four or five small cuts in your abdomen. But they will hold the surgical tools in their hands, rather than using robotic arms.

Open surgery

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Types Of Radical Prostatectomy

The prostate gland lies just under the bladder and in front of the rectum.

Surgeons choose from two approaches to reach and remove the prostate during a radical prostatectomy. One is a traditional approach known as open prostatectomy. The other is minimally invasive. That means it involves several small cuts and a few stitches.

Open Prostatectomy

There are two ways to do this traditional method:

Radical retropubic prostatectomy. Before the surgery, youâll get medicine called anesthesia either to help you âsleepâ or to numb the lower half of your body. Then, your surgeon will make a cut from your belly button down to your pubic bone.

If your surgeon thinks itâs possible that your prostate cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, they may remove some of these nodes and send them to a lab to check for cancer cells while youâre still under anesthesia.

If the lab finds cancer, your surgeon might decide not to go on with the surgery. Thatâs because surgery probably wouldnât cure your cancer, and removing your prostate could bring on serious side effects.

Radical perineal prostatectomy. For this less-common surgery, your surgeon reaches your prostate through a cut they make between your anus and scrotum. Youâll get anesthesia before the operation.

Minimally Invasive Surgeries

There are two minimally invasive procedures used in radical prostatectomy:

Laparoscopic prostatectomy

This type of prostatectomy has become more common over the years.

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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.

  • Most men experience very little surgical pain probably 80 percent are like meI had my surgery on a Monday by Friday I was at a graduation party . I got by with only Advil for pain relief. Its been described as feeling like they did too many sit-ups.
  • Men really fear the catheter. I let them know that they will be asleep when it is put in. They may be like me and sleep very well with it in. Changing bags from a large capacity night bag to a smaller capacity day bag is simple and doesnt involve removing the catheter. Walking with the day bag catheter is not a problem. Removal of the catheter is usually done in the doctors office after the prescribed timeframe and is relatively pain-free.
  • If all goes as planned, you will be walking the night of surgery and then the next day. Most men go home the following afternoon, unless they are otherwise directed by the doctor.
  • Your biggest discomfort may be from gas pains, hence the walking. For a robotic surgery, they have to fill the body cavity with gas to manipulate the equipment. Until we get rid of the gas in the normal way we do, there can be discomfort.
  • What Happens When Prostate Cancer Is Left Untreated

    Prostate Gland Removal

    Doru Paul, MD, is triple board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine. He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending physician in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.

    While most men undergo some form of treatment for their prostate cancer, some men today choose to not be treated for their prostate cancer. Instead, they may choose to have their healthcare providers monitor their cancer.

    Known as active surveillance, it is common when the cancer is expected to grow slowly based on biopsy results, confined to the prostate, not causing any symptoms, and/or small. In active surveillance, healthcare providers will initiate cancer treatment only if cancer starts growing.

    Others men may choose to not undergo cancer treatment because of a short life expectancy or other serious medical problems. They may feel that the risks or side effects of cancer treatment outweigh their potential benefits.

    This option is certainly OK and reasonable in the right circumstancesrequiring a careful and thoughtful discussion with your healthcare provider and family.

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    Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer

    If the cancer has reached an advanced stage, it’s no longer possible to cure it. But it may be possible to slow its progression, prolong your life and relieve symptoms.

    Treatment options include:

    • hormone treatment
    • chemotherapy

    If the cancer has spread to your bones, medicines called bisphosphonates may be used. Bisphosphonates help reduce bone pain and bone loss.

    What To Expect After Radical Prostatectomy

    Most men stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days after radical prostatectomy. Your care team inserts a urinary catheter during the surgery, and some men may need to wear the catheter home for a few days to a few weeks. Another catheter inserted through the skin also may need to stay in place for a few days after returning home.

    Pain after radical prostatectomy can generally be controlled with prescription pain medicines. It can take weeks or months for urinary and sexual function to return to their maximum levels.

    After radical prostatectomy, itâs important to see your doctor for all your regular follow-up appointments to make sure your prostate cancer doesnât return.

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    How Can I Increase My Urine Flow With An Enlarged Prostate

    Embrace the Flow

  • Keep yourself active. Lack of physical activity can make you retain urine.
  • Do Kegel exercises. Stand at or sit on the toilet and contract the muscle that allows you to stop and start the flow of pee.
  • Meditate. Nervousness and tension cause some men to urinate more often.
  • Try double voiding.
  • Risks Of Radical Prostatectomy

    Fixing Urinary Leakage After Prostate Cancer Surgery | Ask A Prostate Expert, Mark Scholz, MD

    Radical prostatectomy has a low risk of serious complications. Death or serious disability caused by radical prostatectomy is extremely rare.

    Important nerves travel through the prostate on the way to the penis. Skilled surgeons can usually protect most of these nerves during radical prostatectomy.

    Still, complications from unintended nerve damage can happen after radical prostatectomy. They include:

    Urinary incontinence. This means trouble controlling your urine, leaking, or dribbling. If you have incontinence, talk to your doctor about treatments that can help.

    Erectile dysfunction . Problems with erections are common after prostatectomy. Still, most men are able to have sex after prostatectomy while using medicines for ED , an external pump, or injectable medications. The younger you are, the higher the chance that youâll be able to get erections after surgery.

    Most doctors think you can help yourself regain your ability to get erections if you try to get one as soon as possible once your body has had time to heal â often several weeks after your surgery. This is called âpenile rehabilitation.â Talk to your doctor before you try it.

    Much of the skill involved in radical prostatectomy centers on sparing these nerves during the operation. A man undergoing radical prostatectomy by a surgeon at an advanced prostate cancer center has a better chance of keeping their sexual and urinary function.

    Other complications of radical prostatectomy include:

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    Recovery From Radical Prostatectomy

    Typical hospital stays following radical prostatectomy are one to two days. You will need to use a catheter to help drain your bladder for one to two weeks after surgery. Regardless of the surgical approach, you should expect to be walking soon after your procedure. Walking helps speed up your recovery and reduces your risk of developing complications. Recovery from prostate cancer usually involves a process of regaining continence and potency .

    • Incontinence:Prostate surgery may affect your ability to control urine, resulting in leakage or dribbling of urine. Normal bladder control returns for many patients within several months. In rare cases, patients may remain permanently incontinent.

    • Impotence: The nerves that control erection, which run on either side of the prostate, are very delicate and can take time to recover. Full erectile recovery can take up to two years. While recovering, men may benefit from using oral medications , injection therapy, vacuum devices and penile implants. The nerves controlling the sensation of orgasm are not affected by prostate surgery. However, for some men, orgasm may decrease in intensity or become nonexistent. The degree of erectile dysfunction relates to the cancer burden, how many nerves were removed, the patients ability to have an erection before surgery and the patients age.

    Robotic Prostate Surgery | Q& A

    Making Decisions About Surgery

    Talk to your surgeon about the surgical methods available to you. Ask about the advantages and disadvantages of each option. There may be extra costs involved for some procedures and they are not all available at every hospital. You may want to consider getting a second opinion about the most suitable type of surgery. See more about Making treatment decisions.

    The surgeons experience and skill are more important than the type of surgery offered. Compared to open surgery, both standard laparoscopic surgery and robotic-assisted surgery usually mean a shorter hospital stay, less bleeding, a smaller scar and a faster recovery. Current evidence suggests that the different approaches have a similar risk of side effects and no difference in long-term outcomes.

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    How Long Does It Take To Shrink Your Prostate

    After 6 to 12 months of therapy, they can reduce the size of the prostate by about a fifth. If used over a longer period of time, they may cause the prostate to shrink even more. 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors often take at least six months to completely act, although they are successful in improving symptoms over time. Larger studies are needed to determine how long it takes for these drugs to cause cancer, but early findings are encouraging.

    In conclusion, men with benign prostatic hyperplasia should be informed that treatment may lead to reduced risk of developing prostate cancer later in life. However, the degree of reduction is small and unlikely to matter for most people. More research is needed on the long-term effects of BPH medications on the development of cancer elsewhere in the body. As with any other medication, those who have existing medical conditions should not start treatment without consulting their doctor first.

    Caring For The Catheter

    Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer

    You will be discharged with a Foley catheter, a tube that continuously drains urine from your bladder into a bag and that you will use for seven to 10 days. Before you leave the hospital, your nurse will teach you how to empty and care for your catheter and drainage bag. The catheter works with gravity and should be draining urine at all times, so you have to keep the drainage bag below your bladder at all times, even when you shower. If your urine is not draining, lower the bag and check the connection for kinks or loops. Loops can cause an air lock that prevents drainage. You can also try emptying the bag. Then try briefly disconnecting the catheter from the clear plastic tubing to allow a little air into the system. Your nurse will show you how to do this before your discharge.

    To prevent infection, you must keep your catheter clean. This section explains how to clean the catheter, the area around the catheter and the drainage bag. It also explains how to apply your leg bag and secure the catheter to your leg.

    We will provide most of the supplies you need to care for your catheter. They include:

    • Blue clamp
    • StatLock Foley catheter securement device
    • Shaving supplies

    You should empty the catheter bag when it’s half full. This helps prevent air locks from developing in the tubing.

    To apply the leg bag:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Remove the tape at the joint of the catheter tube and bag.
  • Swab all connecting areas with alcohol pads.
  • Remove the blue clamp.
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    How Long Does A Radical Prostatectomy Take

    The traditional procedure that removes cancer cells in the prostate gland is called a radical prostatectomy. Its a surgical approach that may take up to two hours to reach a successful ending. Usually, the procedure follows these steps:

  • In order to gain access to the prostate gland, the surgeon makes a small incision
  • The surgeon then proceeds to remove the gland altogether.
  • Once the prostate is eliminated, the surgeon needs to reattach the bladder to the urethra.
  • In order to allow the area to heal itself properly, the procedure also entails the attachment of a catheter to the bladder. Through this tube, the urine is going to be emptied into a collection bag.
  • Finally, the surgical incision is sutured.
  • Once the procedure ends, the anesthetist is going to stop supplying the anesthetic to the body. The patient is going to gradually wake up, and he is usually placed in a recovery room at this point. After the surgery, patients are required to remain in a hospital ward for a few hours or a few days, depending on the case.

    Improve Bladder Control Regain Your Continence Sooner After A Robotic Prostatectomy

    Kegel exercise strengthens the group of muscles called the pelvic floor muscles These muscles contract and relax around the bladder and the bladder opening at your command. When these muscles are weak, urine leakage may result. You can exercise these muscles just like any other muscle in your body, and building them up may help reduce your symptoms. It is important that you perform these exercises correctly and consistently to gain maximum benefit after prostate cancer surgery.

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    Who Should Get A Radical Prostatectomy

    Men younger than 75 years old with limited prostate cancer and who are expected to live at least 10 more years tend to get the most benefit from radical prostatectomy.

    Before doing a radical prostatectomy, doctors first try to confirm that the prostate cancer has not spread beyond the prostate. They can figure out the statistical risk of spread by looking at tables comparing the results of a biopsy and PSA levels.

    Other tests to check for signs of spread, if needed, can include CT scans, bone scans, MRI scans, ultrasound, PET scans, and bone scans.

    If it appears that the prostate cancer hasnât spread, your surgeon may first offer you other options besides surgery. These can include radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or simply watching the prostate cancer over time, since many prostate cancers grow slowly.

    Depending on how high your risk of the cancer spreading is, your surgeon may also consider doing an operation called pelvic lymph node dissection.

    Questions To Ask Your Doctor Or Nurse

    How Long Does Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer Take?

    You may find it helpful to keep a note of any questions you have to take to your next appointment.

    • What type of surgery do you recommend for me and why?
    • What type of surgery do you recommend for me? Will you try to do nerve-sparing surgery?
    • How many of these operations have you done and how many do you do each year?
    • Can I see the results of radical prostatectomies youve carried out?
    • What pain relief will I get after the operation?
    • How and when will we know whether the operation has removed all of the cancer?
    • How often will my PSA level be checked?
    • What is the chance of needing further treatment after surgery?
    • What is the risk of having urinary problems or erection problems and what support can you offer me?

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    How To Do The Male Kegel Exercises

    *Male Kegel exercise is best done after emptying your bladder. * Tighten the muscles you located above and hold for 3 to 5 seconds, or as long as you can at first. As these muscles get stronger, you will able to hold them longer. * Relax for 3 to 5 seconds or for as long as you tightened the muscles, then repeat. * Breathe normally. * Do 5 to 7 exercises at a time, 3 times a day minimum. As you get stronger, increase up to 15 exercises at a time, 4 times a day. * In addition for more advanced exercises, you might consider incorporating a series of quick flexes into this routine of long flexes. For example, perform 30 quick rapidly. Then 1 long contraction for as long as you can. Then repeat. Add more repetitions as you get stronger. * The key, as with any physical training, is to set up a consistent routine and to perform the exercise properly.


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