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.
What Is The Difference Between Robotic And Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy
Both are minimally-invasive techniques of performing radical prostatectomy for cancer. In laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, the surgeon stands by the operating table and himself manipulates the instruments. In robotic prostatectomy the surgeon is seated at a robotic console near the patient from where he drive the robotic instruments to perform the operation. The robot faithfully and accurately reproduces the surgeon’s sophisticated maneuvers.
What Happens After Robotic Prostate Surgery
- Robotic prostate surgery operative time is typically 2-4 hours
- Hospital stay is typically 1-2 days
- Our team will be seeing you on a daily basis during your stay in the hospital and will give you detailed after-surgery instructions prior to your discharge home.
- Foley Catheter typically comes out on day 5 after a cystogram
- Jackson Pratt drain comes out around the time of Foley catheter removal depending on your individual circumstances
- No driving for 7 days after prostate surgery
- No other restrictions in physically activities after surgery – just do what you can tolerate
- Aspirin can be restarted when you are back to eating regular meals
- You will be given Viagra upon the removal of the foley catheter. Typically 50mg a night, increasing to 100mg if no response. This is not given to necessarily induce erections, but to help improve the blood supply to your penis. If you have any heart conditions, your internal medicine doctor needs to clear you before taking Viagra.
- The first PSA check after prostate surgery is at 1 month and then 3-6 months thereafter.
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Prostatectomy: What To Expect During Surgery And Recovery
If youve been diagnosed withprostate cancer, your doctor will consider many factors before recommending the besttreatment. For many men, that may mean a prostatectomy. In this surgery,doctors remove the entire prostate.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital performs more of these procedures than almostanywhere else in the world. One of the most common questions they hear frompatients: What should I expect after surgery?
Johns Hopkins urologistMohamad Allaf, M.D., explains the surgery and recovery.
Sex After Prostate Surgery And Achieving Orgasm
Sex after prostate surgery is an important concern for most men. The total removal of the cancerous tissues is the primary goal, but the quality of life after prostate surgery is also important. Worrying about ED makes men be nervous and anxious when thinking about undergoing radical prostatectomy. Restoring the sexual function after prostate surgery is essential to enjoying life to the fullest!
However, whilst most patients focus on erectile dysfunction, orgasm is somehow under-considered. But is it possible to achieve orgasm after prostatectomy? Erections and orgasm are equally important for a healthy sex life.
First of all, bear in mind that the radical prostatectomy is the surgery performed to remove the prostate gland and sourrounding affected tissue. This is the most recommended treatment for prostate cancer. However, many men wonder if they would be able to have sex after prostate surgery as they did before.
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Tips For Recovering From Prostate Removal
Recovering From Prostate Surgery
To treat prostate cancer, doctors perform tens of thousands of surgeries each year. In recent years, one procedure — called a radical prostatectomy — has become a fine art, says J. Brantley Thrasher, MD, a professor of urologic surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. While side effects like incontinence and impotence are still major concerns, most patients respond well to the surgery, Thrasher says.
In fact, many men respond almost too well. “They feel so good after the surgery that they start to push themselves too hard,” he says. One of his recent patients went on a two-mile jog — while still wearing a catheter. “I told him he needed to slow down and rest for a while.”
If you have a radical prostatectomy in your future, you’ll want to know what to expect. Here’s a closer look at this procedure. As you’ll see, your life won’t necessarily take a turn for the worse after prostate surgery. In fact, it just might get better.
Why do surgeons perform radical prostatectomies?
According to the Food and Drug Administration, radical prostatectomy is considered to be the most definitive treatment for many men with prostate cancer, a disease that kills about 30,000 American men each year. Depending on their age and the stage of their cancer, however, some men do well with a less invasive treatment.
How should I prepare for surgery?
What happens during a radical prostatectomy?
What will happen during recovery in the hospital?
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After A Radical Prostatectomy: What To Expect
Answers to your questions about sex, incontinence, fertility and more
If your medical team determines that your prostate cancer has become aggressive and needs to be treated, an operation called radical prostatectomy removal of the prostate is typically the first-line treatment. This surgery removes the prostate gland and surrounding tissues such as the seminal vesicles and sometimes nearby lymph nodes.
Minimally invasive techniques and most commonly, robot-assisted surgery help speed recovery after radical prostatectomy, since they cause less blood loss, less pain and shorter hospital stays. At Roswell Park, 100% of radical prostatectomies are performed with robot assistance. Regardless of how the operation is performed, the potential for lingering side effects urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction must be considered as you decide on your treatment.
The good news is that not all men experience these, says Roswell Park urologist James Mohler, MD, Associate Director and Senior Vice President, Translational Research. And for most of the men who do, these effects are temporary. Here are answers to some of the most common questions men have about recovering from radical prostatectomy.
Prostate Specific Antigen Blood Tests
- Have a PSA blood test done at the following times:
- 6 to 8 weeks after surgery
- 3 to 6 months after surgery
- 12 months after surgery
If you can, have your PSA blood test done at a MSK location. If you cant have it done at a MSK location, you can go to a medical office closer to where you live. Have the results faxed to your MSK doctors office.
MSK doctor: ___________________________
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How Long Will Recovery Take
You will likely spend one night in the hospital after the operation and then be discharged home with a urinary catheter in place for seven to 10 days. The catheter is not painful, but may feel uncomfortable, says Dr. Mohler. Many men can barely tell theyve had an operation except for the catheter. Restrictions are similar to other pelvic surgery: no lifting more than five pounds for six weeks. No straining to lift for six months. Men can resume sex and activities such as walking or swimming immediately. More strenuous exercise should wait at least six weeks.
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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Nutrition And Dietary Supplements
Some studies have suggested that eating a healthy diet that is rich in vegetables and lower in animal fats might be helpful, but more research is needed to be sure. However, we do know that a healthy diet can have positive effects on your overall health, with benefits that extend beyond your risk of prostate or other cancers.
So far, no dietary supplements have been shown to clearly help lower the risk of prostate cancer progressing or coming back. In fact, some research has suggested that some supplements, such as selenium, might even be harmful. This doesnt mean that no supplements will help, but its important to know that none have been proven to do so.
Dietary supplements are not regulated like medicines in the United States they do not have to be proven effective before being sold, although there are limits on what theyre allowed to claim they can do. If you are thinking about taking any type of nutritional supplement, talk to your health care team. They can help you decide which ones you can use safely while avoiding those that could be harmful.
How Do Doctors Perform Prostate Removal
During prostate removal the prostate gland and some tissue around the gland, including the seminal vesicles, are removed. A prostatectomy takes about two hours and is performed under general anesthesia.
There are two approaches used for a prostatectomy:
- Robotic surgery
- Minimally invasive procedure with faster recovery time
- Uses smaller incisions and robotic technology
The surgical process is as follows:
- The doctor will make a small incision to gain access to the prostate
- The prostate is removed
- The bladder is reconnected to the urethra
- A catheter is connected to the bladder to allow urine to drain while the area heals
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Will I Be Incontinent
Some patients have full urinary control as soon as the catheter is removed. Most patients experience some urinary leakage, which clears up in an average of three weeks but can take as long as 18 months. Small incontinence pads may be worn during this time to absorb any leaking urine and protect your clothing. For one out of 20 men, leakage may persist longer or even be permanent.
We define incontinence as needing more than two pads a day, says Dr. Mohler. Four out of five men wont need any pads at all. One in five will need one to two mini pads per day. One in 100 will end up needing more than two pads per day. This has a devastating effect on quality of life for these men. We dont fully understand why this happens, and we cannot predict who will have this experience. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises before and after your operation may help you avoid or recover from problems with urinary control.
Urinary Problems After Surgery
Most men cant control their bladder properly when their catheter is first removed. This is because surgery can damage the muscles and nerves that control when you urinate.You might just leak a few drops if you exercise, cough or sneeze . Or you might leak more and need to wear absorbent pads, especially in the weeks after your surgery.Leaking urine usually improves with time. Most men start to see an improvement one to six months after surgery. Some men leak urine for a year or more and others never fully recover, but there are things that can help and ways you can manage it.
A few men may find it difficult to urinate after surgery . This can be caused by scarring around the opening of the bladder or the urethra .Some men find they suddenly and painfully cant urinate. This is called acute urine retention and it needs treating quickly to prevent further problems. If this happens, call your doctor or nurse, or go to your nearest accident and emergency department.
Watch Paul’s story for one man’s experience of managing urinary problems after surgery below.
Sexual problems after surgery
Change in penis size and shape
Changes to orgasm
The seminal vesicles, which make some of the fluid in semen, are removed during surgery. This means you wont ejaculate any more. You may have a dry orgasm instead where you feel the sensation of orgasm but dont ejaculate. This may feel different to the orgasms youre used to.
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Interpreting The Data On Prostate Cancer Recurrence
Depending on these factors, secondary treatment can be individualized to best manage the case at hand. Using the PSA in this way can be crucial in mapping out a predicted course of the disease and helping patients manage their disease as best as possible. Some factor combinations could predict a localized, slow-moving cancer best treated and cured with radiation therapy by targeting the remaining prostate cells. For example, if the Gleason score is less than 7, the PSA level started to rise more than 2 years after surgery and the PSA Doubling Time is almost a year, the chances to be cancer-free for a longer period of time are higher. .
Other factor combinations could predict aggressive, metastatic disease, in which case hormonal treatment may be the best treatment. For example, if the Gleason Score is greater than 8, the PSA level started to rise less than 2 years after surgery and the PSA Doubling Time is less than 10 months, there are greater chances to develop metastatic cancer. .
Still in other cases, when evaluating all the aspects of the PSA and the patient, no treatment may be the best treatment, says Dr. Samadi, Director of Mens Health at St.Francis Hospital.
The Three Parts Of Male Orgasm
Kacker starts by pointing out a common misconception that erections are necessary for male orgasm. They arent. Men can have experience orgasm without an erection. The converse is also true, of course: men can have an erection without having an orgasm.
When discussing orgasm and radical prostatectomy, its useful to think of the male orgasm as having three separate parts, says Dr. Kacker.
First, secretions from the testicles, the prostate, and the seminal vesiclessmall, slender glands near the prostateflow into the urethra, the tube-like structure that carries semen through the penis and out the body. The emission of those fluids creates a feeling of fullness and a sensation of inevitability.
Second, theres ejaculation, which is accompanied by contractions of the pelvic floor muscles, the group of muscles used to hold in intestinal gas and urine.
And third is the mental componentall of the processing the brain does of incoming sensory signals from penis and pelvis that contribute to the mental experience of build up and release.
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How To Return To An Active Sex Life After Prostate Cancer Treatment
No matter the cancer, treatments often cause side effects that affect patients quality of life. But with prostate cancer, the potential side effects can be particularly concerning to men who are trying to decide which approach is right for them. Surgery, radiation therapy and other treatments may impact a patients sex life, causing challenges like low sex drive, loss of penis length, dry orgasm or low sperm counts. Despite the angst these issues may cause, experts say most of these side effects can be managed and many men have a good chance of returning to a full sex life after prostate cancer treatment.
Unfortunately, sexual dysfunction is a possibility for nearly all treatment options for prostate cancer, including surgery, says Scott Shelfo, MD, FACS, Medical Director of Urology at our hospital near Atlanta. The degree of dysfunction depends on many factors, including the patients overall health, co-existing medical problems, as well as the patients level of sexual function and ability before treatment.
About Your Prostate Surgery
A radical prostatectomy is a surgery to remove your entire prostate gland and seminal vesicles. Some of the lymph nodes in your pelvis are removed as well. This is done to prevent cancer from spreading from your prostate to other parts of your body.
A radical prostatectomy can be done in 1 of 2 ways. One way is through an open incision , which is called an open prostatectomy. Another way is to use a laparoscope, which is a tube-like instrument with a camera. Your surgeon will talk with you about the best surgery option for you.
In an open prostatectomy, your surgeon will make an incision that goes from your pubic bone towards your belly button . Theyll remove the pelvic lymph nodes first, followed by the prostate gland, and then the structures next to it.
Figure 2. Open prostatectomy incisions
Laparoscopic or robotic-assisted prostatectomy
During a laparoscopic or robotic-assisted prostatectomy, your surgeon will make several small incisions in your abdomen . Theyll insert a laparoscope into 1 of the incisions and use gas to expand your abdomen. Surgical instruments will be inserted into the other incisions to remove the prostate. Some surgeons at MSK are specially trained to use a robotic device to assist with this procedure.
Figure 3. Laparoscopic or robotic-assisted prostatectomy incisions
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