Prostate Cancer Surgery
Each type of prostate surgery has benefits and risks. Your doctor can further describe these types:
- Radical retropubic prostatectomy: The doctor removes the entire prostate and nearby lymph nodes through an incision (cut) in the abdomen.
- Radical perineal prostatectomy: In this surgery for prostate cancer, the doctor removes the entire prostate through a cut between the scrotum and the anus. Nearby lymph nodes may be removed through a separate cut in the abdomen.
- Laparoscopic prostatectomy: The doctor removes the entire prostate and nearby lymph nodes through small incisions, rather than a single long cut in the abdomen. A thin, lighted tube (a laparoscope) is used to help remove the prostate in this type of surgery.
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): The doctor removes part of the prostate with a long, thin device that is inserted through the urethra. The cancer is then cut from the prostate. TURP may not remove all of the cancer, but it can remove tissue that blocks the flow of urine.
- Pelvic lymphadenectomy: This is routinely done during prostatectomy. The doctor removes lymph nodes in the pelvis to see if cancer has spread to them. If cancer cells are present, the disease may have spread to other parts of the body. In this case, the doctor may suggest other types of treatment.
The time it takes to heal after prostate cancer surgery is different for each man and depends on the type of surgery he has had. You may be uncomfortable for the first few days. However, medicine can help control the pain. Before the surgery, you should discuss the plan for pain relief with your doctor or nurse. After surgery, your doctor can adjust the plan if you need more pain relief.
After surgery for prostate cancer, the urethra needs time to heal. You will likely have a catheter in place for 5 days to 3 weeks. A catheter is a tube put through the urethra into the bladder to drain urine. Your nurse or doctor will show you how to care for it.