Surgery is often a standard procedure for treating prostate cancer. However, prostate surgery for cancer is only effective when it has not spread outside the prostate gland. Radical prostatectomy is the most common surgical procedure for the condition.
It is done through a traditional open surgery procedure or a minimally-invasive approach. Even robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery is a suitable approach. Irrespective of the method, you should consult the best prostate cancer surgeon. Dig deeper to find out more about undergoing surgery for prostate cancer.
The procedure involves the removal of the entire prostate gland. Some surrounding tissues also get removed in the process. In some cases, the surrounding lymph nodes have to be removed too. A vital aspect of the procedure is that it gets customized according to individual cancer features.
The procedure does not follow a one-size fit approach. The size, location, and other characteristics of the cancer are considered before creating the surgery plan.
In a laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, a tiny camera is inserted. The surgeon inserts the laparoscope or small camera through a cut in the abdomen. The camera provides surgeons with magnified, high-definition images of the prostate gland. Using the image for guidance, a surgeon removes the prostate, lymph nodes, and seminal vesicles using special tools.
During a robot-assisted procedure, the surgeon sits at a console. The console will have a screen and control for the hand, foot, and finger. The surgeon’s hand, wrist, foot, and finger movement will control the robotic instruments performing the surgery.
Surgery is effective for prostate cancer when it has not spread to surrounding tissues or organs. The long-term prognosis is positive in such instances. Even if cancer has spread outside the prostate, sometimes surgery can provide positive outcomes.
Radiation or systemic therapy after surgery works best when the cancer has not spread much. Chemotherapy, biologic therapy, hormone therapy, or immunotherapy is also quite effective after prostate cancer surgery.
People whose cancer remains confined to the prostate often choose to delay surgery. In such cases, patients are kept under observation. Delaying the surgery works well when small tumors are growing at a slow pace. These tumors are usually at low risk of spreading.
Delaying prostate surgery for as long as six months does not increase the risk of recurrence. But low-risk prostate cancer patients waiting longer than six months do not necessarily have a worse prognosis than people treated early.
The risks of the prostate operation are pretty similar to the dangers of any other surgery. The risks usually become visible shortly after the surgery. Some of the common issues include the following:
- Anesthetic reactions
- Blood clots in the lungs or legs
- Damage to surrounding organs
- Infections at the site of surgery
In rare cases, a part of the intestine gets damaged due to a prostate operation. It often leads to infections in the abdomen, and more surgery might be required to fix the issues. Intestinal injuries are more common due to robotic or laparoscopic surgeries.
If lymph nodes have to be removed, a collection of lymph fluid might get formed. The fluid needs to be drained out.
Urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction are the most common side effects of the prostate operation. The side effects are also shared with any other prostate cancer treatment.
It hampers the ability to control urine and often leads to dribbling or leakage. The major types of urinary incontinence are as follows:
- Stress incontinence: It leads to urine leakage while coughing, laughing, exercising, or sneezing.
- Overflow incontinence: It creates a problem in emptying the bladder. Men with this type of incontinence take a long time to urinate and suffer from dribbling with little force.
- Urge incontinence: It results in a sudden urge to urinate. It occurs when the bladder becomes too sensitive to stretching to fill with urine.
- Continuous incontinence: In rare cases, men lose their ability to control their urine.
After prostate cancer surgery, the normal control of the bladder comes back slowly within a few weeks or months.
It hampers the ability of men to get an erection adequate for sexual intercourse. The ability to have an erection after a prostate operation depends on age and whether nerves were cut. It also depends on the ability to have an erection before surgery.
Prostate surgery’s risks and side effects are less when you choose the best doctor. Consult the doctors at Max Hospitals to lead a better life after a prostate operation.