Radical Prostatectomy Explained

Prostate cancer can be fatal without prompt treatment, and surgery is often required to treat this type of cancer. The surgical procedure is called a radical prostatectomy and involves having the whole prostate and the surrounding tissue removed. If you undergo this procedure you will no longer be able to ejaculate, but you will still be able to have sexual intercourse. Your surgeon will decide whether you should have an open prostatectomy or a laparoscopic prostatectomy. They will take a range of factors into consideration when making their decision, such as any other health conditions you have and your weight, and they will discuss the procedure with you in detail before your surgery is scheduled. Read on to learn about the differences between an open prostatectomy and a laparoscopic prostatectomy.

How An Open Prostatectomy Is Carried Out

An open prostatectomy utilises traditional surgical techniques and involves having a vertical incision made that runs from the belly button to the pelvis. This large incision provides easy access to your prostate, and your surgeon can remove the gland using both their hands. When your prostate has been removed, the incision is closed with stitches or staples, and you'll stay in the hospital for at least a couple of days for observation. This type of prostatectomy is often selected when there's concern around ease of access to your prostate, such as when you have abdominal scarring from previous surgeries or when there is a thick layer of body fat around the abdomen.

How A Laparoscopic Prostatectomy Is Carried Out

A laparoscopic prostatectomy utilises more recent surgical techniques with the aim of minimising scar tissue and reducing recovery time. A reduced recovery time is associated with a lower rate of post-surgical complications, such as bacterial infection. Instead of a large abdominal incision, this surgical approach requires several smaller incisions in the lower abdomen. The incisions are around the size of a thumbnail, and a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end is inserted into one incision. This allows the surgeon to see the area being operated on. Surgical instruments re-inserted into the remaining incisions and are used to cut away the prostate, which is then removed through one of the incisions. Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incisions at the end of your surgery, and you can usually go home the same day.

A radical prostatectomy can be a lifesaving procedure, but as with any type of surgery, you should discuss the risks and benefits thoroughly with your surgeon before consenting to the procedure.

To learn more about prostate cancer surgery contact a doctor.