Prostatectomy includes a number of surgical procedures to remove part or all of the prostate gland. The prostate gland is situated in the male pelvis, below the urinary bladder. It surrounds the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder to the penis. The procedure can be performed in several ways, depending on the condition involved and recommended treatment approach:
Radical prostatectomy is surgery to remove the entire prostate gland and surrounding lymph nodes as a treatment for men with localised prostate cancer. A surgeon can perform a radical prostatectomy using different techniques, including:
- Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy. The surgeon makes several small incisions in your lower abdomen to remove the prostate. He or she sits at a console, using instruments attached to a computer-assisted mechanical device. The robotic device allows a more precise response to the movement of the surgeon’s hands.
- Open radical prostatectomy. The surgeon typically makes an incision in your lower abdomen to remove the prostate.
- Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. The surgeon makes several small incisions in your lower abdomen and inserts special tools to remove the prostate.
Simple prostatectomy, on the other hand, is generally recommended for men with severe urinary symptoms and very enlarged prostate glands, and can be performed open or robotically. This enlargement of the prostate is called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. Simple prostatectomy doesn’t remove the entire prostate, as in a radical prostatectomy, but instead removes just the obstructive part of the prostate that’s blocking the flow of urine.
Why is Prostatectomy Done?
Most often, prostatectomy is done to treat localised prostate cancer. It may be used alone, or in conjunction with radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Prostatectomy to treat prostate cancer involves removing the entire prostate, seminal vesicles and some surrounding tissue, including lymph nodes. Surgical options to treat prostate cancer include open radical prostatectomy, laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and robot-assisted radical prostatectomy.
Less often, simple prostatectomy may also be used to treat a blocked urethra caused by BPH. Simple prostatectomy to treat BPH doesn’t always invoke removing the entire prostate. The surgery eases urinary symptoms and complications resulting from blocked urine flow, including:
- A frequent, urgent need to urinate
- Difficulty starting urination
- Slow urination
- Increased urination frequency at night
- Stopping and starting again while urinating
- The feeling you can’t completely empty your bladder
- Urinary tract infections
- Inability to urinate
Simple prostatectomy carries a higher risk of complications and typically results in a longer recovery time other procedure to treat BPH. Your surgical team will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each technique, as well as your preferences, to determine which approach is best for you.
If you are suffering from prostate cancer symptoms then contact your GP straight away!