Is Incontinence Normal After Prostate Surgery
Bladder leakage after prostate removal is not all that uncommon and typically will go away after your body begins to heal and your muscles regain strength. Approximately 6-8 percent of men who have had surgery to remove their prostate will develop urinary incontinence. The good news is that most men will eventually regain bladder control with time.
After Prostate Removal The Sperm Has To Go Somewhere But Where
Men who are facing prostate removal due to cancer will surely wonder where their sperm will go after removal of the prostate gland. Its fair to wonder about this.
First of all, sperm is produced in the testicles.
The testicles continue to make sperm, but because the vas deferens is clipped and cut, and because there is no prostate or seminal vesicles, there is no ejaculate, explains Michael Herman, MD, director of urologic oncology at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, NY.
People can continue to have orgasms, though, because the nerves that have to do with climax are unaffected, and are actually not related to whether or not someone ejaculates.
The sperm gets broken down and reabsorbed by the body. This is the same process as if someone were abstinent or had a vasectomy.
In short, prostate removal will not affect sperm production or quantity. It only affects what happens to the sperm once its produced.
Unfortunately, removal of the prostate may be more of an issue to a woman than to the man, if she believes she cant enjoy intimate relations without ejaculations.
Men who have partners like this should focus on all that can be done to treat their prostate cancer and prevent a recurrence.
Women who feel deprived without the ejaculate need a harsh lesson in priorities.
Prostate cancer affects one out of six men as a lifetime risk, and the number it kills every year in the U.S. averages in the high 20,000s.
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Surgery To Remove Prostate Cancer
Surgery is one of the main treatments for prostate cancer. You usually have surgery to remove your prostate gland. This is a radical prostatectomy.
A radical prostatectomy is a major operation with some possible side effects. You may not need this type of surgery if you’re an older man with a slow growing prostate cancer. This is because your cancer might grow so slowly that you’re more likely to die of old age or other causes than from prostate cancer.
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Does Incontinence Happen If I Treat Prostate Cancer With Radiation
Some men need radiation therapy after prostate removal. During radiation therapy, some of the normal tissues around the urinary sphincter, urethra, and bladder may be exposed, causing irritation to occur post-therapy, leading to incontinence. This typically subsides within a few months after radiation therapy, however, if it persists, additional treatments described below may be helpful.
Risks Of Radical Prostatectomy
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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Risks Of Prostate Surgery
The risks with any type of radical prostatectomy are much like those of any major surgery. Problems during or shortly after the operation can include:
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Blood clots in the legs or lungs
- Damage to nearby organs
- Infections at the surgery site.
Rarely, part of the intestine might be injured during surgery, which could lead to infections in the abdomen and might require more surgery to fix. Injuries to the intestines are more common with laparoscopic and robotic surgeries than with the open approach.
If lymph nodes are removed, a collection of lymph fluid can form and may need to be drained.
In extremely rare cases, a man can die because of complications of this operation. Your risk depends, in part, on your overall health, your age, and the skill of your surgical team.
After Prostatectomy: What To Expect
At the hospital : You should expect to be in the hospital for one night. At Johns Hopkins, all rooms on the urology floor are private. Here, nurses help patients get moving shortly after surgery to prevent blood clots and other postoperative risks.
First few days at home : After youre sent home, you might find that regular ibuprofen or acetaminophen will be sufficient pain management for the first few days. If over-the-counter medications arent enough, your doctor can help you with alternatives.
One week after surgery : After your surgery site heals, your catheter will be removed. This is usually seven to 10 days after surgery. This can easily be done at your doctors office. Some people decide to take out their catheter at home. If thats the case, ask your doctor for instructions first.
This is also about the time your surgeon will call you with the final pathology results. He or she will discuss what you should know and whether further treatment is necessary.
One month after surgery : Doctors recommend no strenuous activity or heavy lifting for at least one month after surgery. Most people take off work for three to four weeks. If you work from home, you could return to work sooner.
- Urinary incontinence
- Erectile dysfunction
Recovery from surgery takes time. These side effects are often temporary. However, if they are affecting your quality of life, ask your doctor about options that can help.
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How Does The Doctor Know I Have Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer tends to grow slowly over many years. Most men with early prostate cancer dont have changes that they notice. Signs of prostate cancer most often show up later, as the cancer grows.
If signs are pointing to prostate cancer, tests will be done. Most men will not need all of them, but here are some of the tests you may need:
PSA blood test: PSA is a protein thats made by the prostate gland and can be found in the blood. Prostate cancer can make PSA levels go up. Blood tests will be done to see what your PSA level is and how it changes over time.
Transrectal ultrasound : For this test, a small wand is put into your rectum. It gives off sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off the prostate gland. The echoes are made into a picture on a computer screen.
MRI: This test uses radio waves and strong magnets to make detailed pictures of the body. MRI scans can be used to look at the prostate and can show if the cancer has spread outside the prostate to nearby organs.
Prostate biopsy: For a prostate biopsy, the doctor uses a long, hollow needle to take out small pieces of the prostate where the cancer might be. This is often done while using TRUS or MRI to look at the prostate. The prostate pieces are then checked for cancer cells. Ask the doctor what kind of biopsy you need and how its done.
When You Might Have A Radical Prostatectomy
Your doctor might recommend a radical prostatectomy if:
- your cancer hasn’t spread outside the prostate gland. This is localised prostate cancer
- your cancer has broken through the covering of the prostate and spread to the area just outside the prostate gland. This is locally advanced prostate cancer
- you are well enough to have this operation
The aim of a radical prostatectomy operation is to cure prostate cancer.
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Life After Prostate Removal
For many men with prostate cancer, prostate removal is never needed because the cancer is often slow-growing and managed with non-surgical treatments. But, if the cancer has grown beyond the prostate, the oncologist may recommend prostate removal surgery, also called a prostatectomy. If you are going to have prostate removal surgery, this information can help you in your discussion with the doctors.
What Do The Test Results Mean
PSA tests can be difficult to interpret. Tests can also vary from laboratory to laboratory. To ensure accurate comparison, its important to use the same lab each time youre tested.
If your PSA level is low and not rising after repeated tests, its probably not a cancer recurrence. Thats because other cells in your body can produce small amounts of PSA.
Ideally, your post-prostatectomy PSA will be undetectable, or less than 0.05 or 0.1 nanograms of PSA per milliliter of blood . If thats the case, your doctor may call it a remission.
If the result is greater than or equal to 0.2 ng/mL and its risen on two separate tests taken at least two weeks apart, its called a biochemical relapse. You still have PSA in your bloodstream. Theres a chance that cancer has recurred.
A PSA level higher than that may indicate a locally advanced tumor.
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Transurethral Resection Of The Prostate
This operation is more often used to treat men with non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate called benign prostatic hyperplasia . But it is also sometimes used in men with advanced prostate cancer to help relieve symptoms, such as trouble urinating.
During this operation, the surgeon removes the inner part of the prostate gland that surrounds the urethra . The skin is not cut with this surgery. An instrument called a resectoscope is passed through the tip of the penis into the urethra to the level of the prostate. Once it is in place, either electricity is passed through a wire to heat it or a laser is used to cut or vaporize the tissue. Spinal anesthesia or general anesthesia is used.
The operation usually takes about an hour. After surgery, a catheter is inserted through the penis and into the bladder. It remains in place for about a day to help urine drain while the prostate heals. You can usually leave the hospital after 1 to 2 days and return to normal activities in 1 to 2 weeks.
You will probably have some blood in your urine after surgery.
Other possible side effects from TURP include infection and any risks that come with the type of anesthesia used.
What Is A Prostatectomy
A common surgical approach to prostatectomy includes making a surgicalincision and removing the prostate gland . This may beaccomplished with either of two methods, the retropubic or suprapubicincision , or a perineum incision .
Prior to having a prostatectomy, it’s often necessary to have aprostate biopsy. Please see this procedure for additional information.
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Prostate Removal: 8 Things To Know
Your Cancer Care Team
People with cancer should be cared for by a multidisciplinary team . This is a team of specialists who work together to provide the best care and treatment.
The team often consists of specialist cancer surgeons, oncologists , radiologists, pathologists, radiographers and specialist nurses.
Other members may include physiotherapists, dietitians and occupational therapists. You may also have access to clinical psychology support.
When deciding what treatment is best for you, your doctors will consider:
- the type and size of the cancer
- what grade it is
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What Happens During Radical Prostatectomy
You will have general anesthesia during your prostate surgery. Your surgical team inserts a catheter to drain urine.
After your surgeon removes your prostate, they check it under a microscope to see if cancer has extended beyond the edge of the prostate or into the seminal vesicles or lymph nodes. If it has, the cancer may have spread. In that case, you may need other treatment.
Impotence Or Erectile Dysfunction
This means your penis cannot get hard enough for sex.
If you have both nerves removed, then you wont be able to have spontaneous erections. If only one side is removed, you might still have erections, but it would be less likely. If neither are removed, then maybe your erections will go back to normal after surgery.
Doctors who do many radical prostatectomies tend to report lower impotence rates than doctors who do the surgery less often. There are many different rates of impotence in the medical literature, but every man is other, so it is best to ask your doctor about their success rates and what will happen if you have this surgery.
How Serious Is My Cancer
If you have prostate cancer, the doctor will want to find out how far it has spread. This is called the stage of the cancer. You may have heard other people say that their cancer was stage 1 or stage 2. Your doctor will want to find out the stage of your cancer to help decide what types of treatment might be best for you.
The stage is based on the growth or spread of the cancer through the prostate, and if it has spread to other parts of your body. It also includes your blood PSA level and the grade of the cancer. The prostate cancer cells are given a grade, based on how they look under a microscope. Those that look very different from normal cells are given a higher grade and are likely to grow faster. The grade of your cancer might be given as a Gleason score or a Grade Group . Ask your doctor to explain the grade of your cancer. The grade also can helpdecide which treatments might be best for you.
Your cancer can be stage 1, 2, 3, or 4. The lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, like stage 4, means a more serious cancer that has spread outside the prostate.
If your cancer hasnt spread to other parts of the body, it might also be given a risk group. The risk group is based on the extent of the cancer in the prostate, your PSA level, and the results of the prostate biopsy. The risk group can help tell if other tests should be done, and what the best treatment options might be.
Does Incontinence Go Away On Its Own After Prostate Surgery
For most men, urinary incontinence will go away within about 1 year. The time frame varies depending on how severe your incontinence is, and what types of treatments youre using to manage it. Some men may recover from leaks within weeks, whereas others will take months for the bladder leaks to subside. Performing pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegels, which help strengthen the muscles that are located in the base of the pelvis between the pubic bone may help to speed the recovery process along.
Surgery To Remove Your Prostate Gland
You might have surgery to remove your prostate gland if:
- your cancer hasnt spread outside the prostate gland
- you are younger and have a fast growing tumour
- as part of treatment for locally advanced or high risk localised prostate cancer
The aim of a radical prostatectomy operation is to cure prostate cancer. It is major surgery with some possible side effects. If youre an older man with a slow growing prostate cancer, this type of surgery may not be necessary for you. This is because your cancer might grow so slowly that youre more likely to die of old age or other causes than from prostate cancer.
What Is The Prostate
The prostate is a small gland in the male reproductive system, and it is about the shape and size of a walnut. It lies low in the pelvis, underneath the bladder, and simply before the rectum.
The prostate helps produce semen, the milky liquid that brings sperm from the testicles through the penis when a man ejaculates. Additionally, it encompasses part of the urethra, a cylinder that carries urine out of the bladder and through the penis.
If you think you have a prostate problem, you might consider massaging them to regulate your prostate health.
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