Prostate Problem Guide
Types of Prostate Surgery
In early stage prostate cancer, where the disease is confined to the prostate gland, prostate surgery is often the preferred treatment. But the question is what type of prostate surgery should your have?
There are various different types of prostate surgery that can be performed including:
- Radical retropubic prostatectomy. The entire gland, and nearby lymph nodes, is removed through an incision in the abdomen.
- Radical perineal prostatectomy. The entire gland is removed through an incision between the scrotum and the anus. Nearby lymph nodes can also be removed at the same time through a separate incision in the abdomen.
- Laparoscopic prostatectomy. The entire gland, and nearby lymph nodes, is removed through a number of small incisions, rather than a single long cut in the abdomen. A thin, lighted tube known as a laparoscope is used to remove the prostate.
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). Part of the gland is removed using a long, thin device which is inserted through the urethra. TURP may not remove all of the cancer, but it can remove tissue that is blocking the flow of urine.
- Pelvic lymphadenectomy. This procedure is routinely carried out during prostate surgery. Lymph nodes in the pelvis are removed to see if cancer has spread to them, indicating that the disease may have spread to other parts of the body.
Prostate surgery can cause a number of short-term problems, such as incontinence, although these normally disappear within a few weeks of surgery.
In some cases however prostate surgery results in impotence which may be permanent. This normally occurs where nerves are damaged during surgery and while nerve-sparing surgical techniques can be employed to help prevent impotence, the extent of the prostate surgery necessary to remove the cancer cells means that sometimes nerve damage is inevitable.
You should also note that, if your prostate is removed, you will no longer be able to produce sperm and will experience what is known as a dry orgasm. You should therefore consider sperm retrieval and sperm banking prior to prostate surgery if you wish to retain the ability to father children.
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