If you get diagnosed with prostate cancer or an advanced case of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), your doctor may suggest a surgery. The surgery is called a prostatectomy and it’s used to remove the prostate or its portion. Although it’s far less dangerous than a heart or a brain surgery, it could still benefit you to learn more about the procedure.
Here are some things you should know about prostate surgery.
Types of Procedures
There are different types of prostatectomy:
- Open prostatectomy – the traditional surgery where a surgeon makes an incision in your skin to approach the prostate and the nearby tissue. It has two main approaches: radical retropubic (the incision goes from your bellybutton to the pubic bone) and radical perineal approach (the incision goes from the rectum to the scrotum).
- Laparoscopic surgery – a minimally invasive procedure. It too has two approaches: laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (the surgeon uses a camera and small instruments) and robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (the surgeon controls a robotic arm from the next room).
After the Procedure
After the surgery, your incision will be sore, no matter which of these methods you chose to go for. During this time you may experience irritation while urinating, blood in your urine, and difficulty holding urine.
Potential Side Effects
All surgeries come with certain side effects like bleeding, infection, blood clots, and reaction to anesthesia. However, after a prostatectomy, you may also experience:
- Erectile dysfunction (ED);
- Urinary problems;
- Sexual dysfunction like orgasm changes or loss of fertility.
So, there you go – the most important things you should know about prostate surgery. Choose the procedure that feels right for you and make sure you’re in the hands of an experienced surgeon if you’re concerned about side effects and recovery time.