Prostate Removal Surgery: Recovery Time And Its Side Effects
Prostate removal surgery, also called prostatectomy is a procedure to remove prostate gland present in man. During the surgery, prostate can be removed in parts or as a whole prostate gland. Following are the indications for prostate operation
- Prostatism: Benign prostatic enlargement causes increased difficulty while passing urine with considerable frequency day and night, delay in starting and poor stream of urine are some of the symptoms for which prostate removal surgery is advised.
- Acute retention which is not relieved by passing a catheter.
- Chronic retention of urine: When the residual urine in the bladder is 200 ml or more. Raised blood urea, enlarged ureter or enlarged kidney due to urine retention demonstrated on X-ray and sonogram.
- Complications such as stone, diverticulum formation, etc.
- Hemorrhage caused due to ruptured vein overlying the prostate, which does not stop on catheterization, needs emergency prostate removal surgery.
- Lastly, cancer of prostate.
What Is The Prostate Gland
The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the neck ofa man’s bladder and urethrathe tube that carries urine from the bladder.It’s partly muscular and partly glandular, with ducts opening into theprostatic portion of the urethra. It’s made up of three lobes, a centerlobe with one lobe on each side.
Researchers don’t know all the functions of the prostate gland. However,the prostate gland plays an important role in both sexual and urinaryfunction. It’s common for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a manages, and it’s also likely for a man to encounter some type of prostateproblem in his lifetime.
Many common problems that don’t require a radical prostatectomy areassociated with the prostate gland. These problems may occur in men of allages and include:
Cancer of the prostate is a common and serious health concern. According tothe American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common form ofcancer in men older than age 50, and the third leading cause of death fromcancer.
There are different ways to achieve the goal of removing the prostate glandwhen there’s cancer. Methods of performing prostatectomy include:
Fast Facts On Bph Surgery:
- Surgery is rarely the first line of treatment for BPH.
- A doctor who specializes in the urinary tract does most TURP surgeries.
- TURP is considered a fairly safe, effective procedure for treating BPH.
According to the American Urological Association, transurethral resection of the prostate or TURP is the most common type of surgery used to treat BPH. Every year, doctors perform it on around 150,000 American men.
Surgeons perform most TURP procedures when the patient is under general anesthesia and unconscious or asleep.
Alternatively, they use spinal anesthesia, where a needle is placed in the spine to stop any sensation below the waist.
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Why Do Doctors Perform Prostatectomies
Since the prostate gland is not an organ essential for survivability, doctors recommend its removal in some cases. Perhaps the number one cause of removal of the prostate gland would be early-stage prostate cancer.
In such cases, doctors may go for complete prostate removal, or they may even go for radical proctectomy, in which they also remove the surrounding tissues.
However, prostate cancer is not the only cause. Doctors may also recommend prostatectomy to individuals with high risk or high probability of prostate cancer. Such individuals would often have some other severe symptoms like issues urinating.
Doctors may also remove the prostate gland if there are issues like acute urinary retention, recurrent urinary infections, recurrent hematuria, bladder stone, bladder outlet problems not responsive to conservative treatment, renal insufficiency due to chronic bladder obstruction, etc.
So, prostate cancer may be the leading cause of prostatectomy, but there are many other reasons why doctors may recommend it. Moreover, when people live with different non-cancerous prostate issues, they are also at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises And Can Improve Erection Quality
As we age, we lose muscle tone throughout your body. That includes the muscles that men need to maintain erections. However, there are physical exercises men can do to reduce erectile dysfunction. The best ones are known as pelvic floor exercises or kegels.
The process starts with identifying the muscles you need to activate. Thats best achieved by lying down with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Thats when you breathe out and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for 3 seconds.
Its important that you identify the right group, at the base of your buttocks, on either side of your perineum. It can be easy to mistake other muscles, such as the legs or stomach for the pelvic floor.
Once you are confident you have the right muscle group, then doing the exercises in a seated or standing position three times a day can firm and strengthen the muscles, with a likely improvement within four to six weeks.
Some men find that after the initial strengthening that options like Pilates become appealing as not only are there many exercises which improve the pelvic floor, but they can improve overall posture and strength.
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Staging Of Prostate Cancer
Doctors will use the results of your prostate examination, biopsy and scans to identify the âstageâ of your prostate cancer .
The stage of the cancer will determine which types of treatments will be necessary.
If prostate cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the chances of survival are generally good.
Impotence Or Erectile Dysfunction
If you have both nerves removed, then you wont be able to have spontaneous erections. If only one side is removed, you might still have erections, but it would be less likely. If neither are removed, then maybe your erections will go back to normal after surgery.
After surgery, you will have an erection if you were able to before the operation and if the nerves were not cut. But, if you had an issue with your erection before surgery and the nerves were cut, you will probably lose this ability after surgery too.
Doctors who do many radical prostatectomies tend to report lower impotence rates than doctors who do the surgery less often. There are many different rates of impotence in the medical literature, but every man is other, so it is best to ask your doctor about their success rates and what will happen if you have this surgery.
If your ability to get erections returns after surgery, it often takes a while before you can do it yourself. It might take up to two years. During the first few months, you may not get an erection at all and will need help from medicines or other treatments.
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Things You Should Expect After Prostate Surgery
Prostate removal is a major type of surgery and requires time for the body to recover. Even though robotic prostatectomy using the Da Vinci robot has less severe effects on the body and the patient can leave the hospital the same day, men should expect some changes in order to know how to deal with them. The surgery is performed through small incisions that are barely sensitive at the incision sites and the scar tissue is almost unnoticeable. Typically, the recovery is fast, most men are able to go home the next day and resume driving and working in two to three weeks after the surgery.
In the immediate hours after surgery:
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Difficulty Getting An Erection
Impotence is more likely to happen if you are older. Nerve sparing surgery and robotic surgery may reduce the risk for some men. Speak to your doctor before you have surgery to get an idea of your risk of problems afterwards.
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Life After A Radical Prostatectomy: A Real
Reposted from Greater Boston Urology.
Less cancer was localized, meaning it was contained within the prostate gland itself. He didnt need further treatment for prostate cancer after the surgery, only regular monitoring of his PSA.
Q: So lets get right to it: You were dealing with incontinence after your radical prostatectomy?Les: The thing about any kind of prostate procedure is youve got to deal with incontinence. This was a big issue for me for a while. I had purchased padded undergarmentsa whole case of them, because I didnt know how long this was going to last.
Men wonder why this particular side effect happens. The prostate gland is the primary organ for controlling urinary flow in normal physiology. When you are rising frequently during the night, and/or having difficulty starting urination, these are signs that the prostate is beginning to grow in size and interfere with this specific function. Every mans prostate gets larger with age it does not necessarily have anything to do with having cancer. It is a separate reality.
Women dont have a prostate. What do they use? Kegel muscles!
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How Does The Procedure Work
After anesthesia, a surgeon will insert a tool called a resectoscope into the urethra. In some cases, a separate device will be used to flush sterile fluid through the surgical site.
Once the surgeon has positioned the resectoscope, they will use it to cut away abnormal prostate tissues and seal broken blood vessels.
Finally, the surgeon will insert a long plastic tube called a catheter into the urethra and flush destroyed prostate tissues into the bladder where they are excreted through urine.
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Urgent Signs And Symptoms
For emergencies that can’t wait, call 911.
- You have a persistent or recurring temperature greater than 101 F or repeated chills.
- Your catheter stops draining urine despite adequate hydration and no kinks in the tubing.
- Your urine in your Foley catheter is cloudy, foul smelling or persistently bloody .
- You have no bowel movement by day five after surgery.
- You have an unexplained severe pain that you didn’t experience while in the hospital.
- You are nauseated or vomiting.
- You have asymmetrical leg swelling .
- You have worsening redness, swelling or drainage from your incisions.
Surgery To Remove Your Prostate Gland
You might have surgery to remove your prostate gland if:
- your cancer hasnt spread outside the prostate gland
- you are younger and have a fast growing tumour
- as part of treatment for locally advanced or high risk localised prostate cancer
The aim of a radical prostatectomy operation is to cure prostate cancer. It is major surgery with some possible side effects. If youre an older man with a slow growing prostate cancer, this type of surgery may not be necessary for you. This is because your cancer might grow so slowly that youre more likely to die of old age or other causes than from prostate cancer.
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What Is The Life Expectancy After The Removal Of The Prostate Gland
Prostate removal prolongs life with about three years in men with prostate cancer. However, prognosis depends on many factors. A doctor should know the patients medical history in detail and put this information together with survival statistics in order to offer an informed answer.
Option treatments have evolved over the years and life after prostate removal is now associated with less complications and a higher success rate.
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The following information is based on the general experiences of many prostate cancer patients. Your experience may be different. If you have any questions about what prostate cancer treatment services are covered by your health insurance, please contact your health care provider or health insurance provider. This education material was made possible by a Grant from the California Department of Justice, Antitrust Law Section, from litigation settlement funds to benefit Californians diagnosed with cancer or their families.
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Benefits And Risks Of Prostatectomy
Prostatectomy is surgery that removes part or all of a mans prostate gland. Its a treatment option for prostate cancer and BPH . If prostate removal is in your future, its important to weigh the risks and benefits. This includes understanding the possible prostatectomy side effects that may affect your life. Your doctor is best able to help you through the decision-making process, which will cover at least some of these topics.
How Do Doctors Perform Prostate Removal
During prostate removal the prostate gland and some tissue around the gland, including the seminal vesicles, are removed. A prostatectomy takes about two hours and is performed under general anesthesia.
There are two approaches used for a prostatectomy:
- Robotic surgery
- Minimally invasive procedure with faster recovery time
- Uses smaller incisions and robotic technology
The surgical process is as follows:
- The doctor will make a small incision to gain access to the prostate
- The prostate is removed
- The bladder is reconnected to the urethra
- A catheter is connected to the bladder to allow urine to drain while the area heals
Treatment Options For Prostate Stones
Most men with prostate stones will not require any treatment, again due to lack of symptoms. Also, sometimes, prostate stones may pass on their own in a mans urine. However, if they do become infected and are causing prostate or urinary tract problems, then they may require antibiotics. In more severe cases, they can be removed surgically. Prostatic calculi can be easily removed with a transurethral electro-resection loop or holmium laser if they cause difficulty in urination or chronic pain.
Any man, having urinary symptoms or pain in the lower pelvic region, needs to see his doctor right away for a thorough examination and diagnosis of what the problem may be.
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Active Surveillance And Watchful Waiting
If prostate cancer is in an early stage, is growing slowly, and treating the cancer would cause more problems than the disease itself, a doctor may recommend active surveillance or watchful waiting.
Active surveillance. Prostate cancer treatments may seriously affect a person’s quality of life. These treatments can cause side effects, such as erectile dysfunction, which is when someone is unable to get and maintain an erection, and incontinence, which is when a person cannot control their urine flow or bowel function. In addition, many prostate cancers grow slowly and cause no symptoms or problems. For this reason, many people may consider delaying cancer treatment rather than starting treatment right away. This is called active surveillance. During active surveillance, the cancer is closely monitored for signs that it is worsening. If the cancer is found to be worsening, treatment will begin.
ASCO encourages the following testing schedule for active surveillance:
A PSA test every 3 to 6 months
A DRE at least once every year
Another prostate biopsy within 6 to 12 months, then a biopsy at least every 2 to 5 years
Treatment should begin if the results of the tests done during active surveillance show signs of the cancer becoming more aggressive or spreading, if the cancer causes pain, or if the cancer blocks the urinary tract.
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Side Effects From Radiation
Urinary symptoms from radiation treatment for prostate cancer are different from those caused by prostate surgery. “It’s more like a urinary tract infection-increased urgency and frequency, and men may some have bleeding or pain when they urinate,” Calvaresi said. These problems often go away once treatment is complete.
Radiation also may cause bowel changes, such as constipation, loose stools or both. These can be managed by over-the-counter medication. Men may also see some blood in their stool during treatment-if so, let your health care provider know about this.
Men undergoing radiation are likely to have ED, but not immediately. “It slowly sets in after radiation treatment,” Calvaresi said. Treatments for radiation-related ED are the same as ED caused by prostate cancer surgery.
What About Other Treatments I Hear About
When you have cancer you might hear about other ways to treat the cancer or treat your symptoms. These may not always be standard medical treatments. These treatments may be vitamins, herbs, special diets, and other things. You may wonder about these treatments.
Some of these are known to help, but many have not been tested. Some have been shown not to help. A few have even been found to be harmful. Talk to your doctor about anything youre thinking about using, whether its a vitamin, a diet, or anything else.
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While In The Hospital
Its important to your recovery to start moving as soon as possible. Most men are out of bed and walking around the unit on the same day as their surgery. Your nurse will assist you until you can manage on your own. When you first get up, raise the head of your bed, take a couple of deep breaths, and allow your body to adjust to the change in position. Dangle your feet over the side of the bed for a few minutes, then slowly stand up. Be careful because getting up too quickly can make you light-headed.
Get out of bed at least three times each day preferably more. This helps prevent lung infections and blood clots. You may be prescribed an injectable blood thinner to further reduce the risk of blood clots. The more time you spend out of bed, the faster you will recover and the faster your bowel function will return to normal. Your nurse will also give you an oral stool softener and mild laxative to prevent constipation.
In addition to walking, you will be encouraged to do two other things that help prevent complications: Use an incentive spirometer , and wear compression stockings while in bed. Both will be provided and the nurses will instruct you on how to use them.