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What Happens After They Remove Your Prostate

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Things That Can Happen When You Live Without A Prostate

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Beyond the oft-reported effects of urinary incontinence and impotence following surgery, there are a number of less widely known possible side effects of prostate removal.

Fun fact number one: Half of all men who die in this country this year will be killed by heart disease, stroke, or cancer. Fun fact number two: Half of all doctors seem to have different ideas about how to prevent the biggest killers of men. We spoke to the best of them, and weâve simplified, clarified, and prioritized their advice on minimizing the risks of dying before your time. For more tips, . Reporting by Sarah Z. Wexler.

As more men deemed to be at genetic risk of prostate cancer opt to have the organ removed preemptively, lesser-known side-effects of the procedure are coming to the fore. In addition to the oft-reported effects of urinary incontinence and impotence following surgery, here are some symptoms more rarely accounted for:

Shrunken penises. As many men are prescribed antiandrogen treatments to block testosterone effects on advanced prostate-cancer tissue, Dr. Celestia Higano of the University of Washington reports that up to 68 percent of men experience penile shortening after radical prostatectomy surgery.

âDry orgasmâor, rather, orgasm without ejaculation, which occurs after surgery when retrograde ejaculation sends semen back into the bladder instead of out the penis.

This article originally appeared in Esquireâs November issue.

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When To Call Your Doctor Or Nurse

Its important to tell your doctor or nurse if:

  • your bladder feels full or your catheter isnt draining urine
  • your catheter leaks or falls out
  • your urine contains blood clots, turns cloudy, dark or red, or has a strong smell
  • your wound area or the tip of your penis becomes red, swollen or painful
  • you have a fever
  • you feel sick or vomit
  • you get cramps in your stomach area that will not go away
  • you get pain or swelling in the muscles in your lower legs.

Your doctor or nurse will let you know if you should go to the hospital.

Risks Of Radical Prostatectomy

Radical prostatectomy has a low risk of serious complications. Death or serious disability caused by radical prostatectomy is extremely rare.

Important nerves travel through the prostate on the way to the penis. Skilled surgeons can usually protect most of these nerves during radical prostatectomy.

Still, complications from unintended nerve damage can happen after radical prostatectomy. They include:

Urinary incontinence. This means trouble controlling your urine, leaking, or dribbling. If you have incontinence, talk to your doctor about treatments that can help.

Erectile dysfunction . Problems with erections are common after prostatectomy. Still, most men are able to have sex after prostatectomy while using medicines for ED , an external pump, or injectable medications. The younger you are, the higher the chance that youâll be able to get erections after surgery.

Most doctors think you can help yourself regain your ability to get erections if you try to get one as soon as possible once your body has had time to heal â often several weeks after your surgery. This is called âpenile rehabilitation.â Talk to your doctor before you try it.

Much of the skill involved in radical prostatectomy centers on sparing these nerves during the operation. A man undergoing radical prostatectomy by a surgeon at an advanced prostate cancer center has a better chance of keeping their sexual and urinary function.

Other complications of radical prostatectomy include:

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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Prostate Surgery

Advantages

  • Surgery will completely remove the cancer if it is only in the prostate gland.
  • The prostate can be removed and be fully analysed and staged in the laboratory.
  • The success of the treatment can be easily assessed by PSA testing.
  • If the PSA were to rise after surgery you would still be able to get other treatments like radiotherapy or hormone treatment.

Disadvantages

It involves a general anaesthetic and the usual risks you would expect with surgery, like the risk of bleeding, infection and blood clots.

  • You will have to stay in hospital for a few days.
  • You may get side-effects afterwards like problems with erections and urinary incontinence.
  • You will not be able to father children after the surgery, as the prostate, which normally makes some of the fluid needed for semen to be made, has been removed.
  • Recovery takes around 6 weeks.

Life After Prostate Cancer Treatment

Prostate surgery

Adjusting to life after prostate cancer treatment can take time. For some men, the emotional impact of what they have been through may not hit them until they have finished treatment. For others, working through the physical side effects is their immediate focus.

Although prostate cancer treatment can be lifesaving, it can also take a toll on the body. This can result in a disruption to normal urinary, bowel and sexual function.

Whether you have surgery, radiation or hormone therapy, you are likely to have side effects.

“It’s important to talk with your health care provider about these side effects before you start treatment, so you can learn about the range of options to treat them,” says Anne Calvaresi, DNP, CRNP, RNFA, Urology Nurse Practitioner at the Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

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What Does The Prostate Do

The prostate is a male gland that releases prostate fluid, one of the components of semen.

The muscles of the prostate gland help propel this fluid into the urethra during ejaculation.

It is a muscular gland that is often described as walnut or small apricot-sized.

An enlarged prostate can be a sign of prostate cancer, the third biggest cancer killer.

Surgery To Remove Prostate Cancer

Surgery is one of the main treatments for prostate cancer. You usually have surgery to remove your prostate gland. This is a radical prostatectomy.

A radical prostatectomy is a major operation with some possible side effects. You may not need this type of surgery if you’re an older man with a slow growing prostate cancer. This is because your cancer might grow so slowly that you’re more likely to die of old age or other causes than from prostate cancer.

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What Happens Before Radical Prostatectomy

Before radical prostatectomy, your provider will ask you about your health history. Youll also need to tell your provider what drugs and vitamins you take. You may need to stop taking some of your medications a few days before your surgery, especially drugs that cause blood thinning.

Your hospital will give you specific instructions, including how long before your surgery to stop eating and drinking.

To check your health before your procedure, you also may need:

Immediately After A Prostatectomy

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  • You will stay in hospital for two to five days.
  • Nurses will monitor your vital signs.
  • Your pain will be managed with medication.
  • You may be given antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
  • You may have a drip inserted into your arm or hand for a few days.
  • You will most likely have a drain tube out of your abdomen that will be removed in the first day or two after the surgery.
  • You will be fitted with a small tube in your penis. The catheter drains urine into an attached bottle or bag. This catheter will be removed about one to three weeks after the operation. Your surgeon will tell you when it can be removed.
  • In most cases, you will have to go home still wearing the catheter. You will be taught how to care for it.

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Does Viagra And Cialis Work After Prostate Removal

During recovery, medications like Viagra and Cialis will help. Viagra can restore impotence and contributes to more pleasurable sex life.

A study published in the Journal of Urologyreported that 53% from a total of 80 men who underwent radical prostatectomy had their erection function restored after taking Viagra.

But is Viagra an addictive drug?

Many men experienced a high rate of improvement in their sexual performance due to medications such as Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra. If you have been wondering whether these medications are addictive, you should know that the active ingredient in Viagra, sildenafil, is not an addictive substance.

These medications work by increasing the blood flow to the penis and facilitate the erection process. Addiction is brain-triggered, but Viagra does not target the nervous processes in the brain. That is why it is considered a safe option for those who want to faster recover their sexual potency after prostate cancer treatment.

Can Prostate Be Removed What Happens After Survival Rate

Since the prostate can cause so many problems in mens health, can the prostate be removed? The answer is yes. Heres what happens after and the survival rate.

If you are looking to reduce your chances of developing prostate cancer, this procedure can help you do just that!

Keep reading to learn more about how to remove your prostate.

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How Fast Will I Become Totally Continent After Prostate Surgery

During surgery for prostate cancer, the urethra is also affected and, depending on the experience of the surgeon, more or less of the continence function will be preserved. Due to the high precision of robotic surgery, the patient will have a catheter for roughly one week and the trauma to the urinary function will be minimum.

The discomfort that patients feel during this time is minimum, but you should expect the removal to make you feel uneasy. The catheter will be removed during a visit to your doctor, so do not try to do this at home, as it could cause infections. The degree of which the urinary function will be affected depends on how normal the function was before surgery, age and weight.

It is worth noting that most men will experience some degree of incontinence after prostate surgery, but control can be regained within several weeks or months to a year.

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What To Expect After Radical Prostatectomy

Retired in Delaware: Post Recovery

Most men stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days after radical prostatectomy. Your care team inserts a urinary catheter during the surgery, and some men may need to wear the catheter home for a few days to a few weeks. Another catheter inserted through the skin also may need to stay in place for a few days after returning home.

Pain after radical prostatectomy can generally be controlled with prescription pain medicines. It can take weeks or months for urinary and sexual function to return to their maximum levels.

After radical prostatectomy, itâs important to see your doctor for all your regular follow-up appointments to make sure your prostate cancer doesnât return.

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What Happens Right After Prostate Surgery

After surgery, youll stay in the hospital for a day or two. You may feel sore, but nurses will encourage you to get up as soon as possible. Walking helps your body start to recover from the surgery and function normally again.

Because you cant urinate on your own right away, youll have a catheter in your penis. The thin, flexible tube empties urine into a bag.

Your doctor may prescribe pain medicine for a few days immediately following surgery. After that, youll switch to over-the-counter pain meds.

Changes In Your Sex Life

Most men experience some decline in erectile function after their prostate is removed, but this can be managed. It can take six months or even up to a year for the affected nerves to recover from surgery. But with proper therapy and treatment, most patients can have good erectile function again, says Dr. Fam.

Treatment options include:

  • Counseling

Work with your doctor to find a treatment that is right for you.

Another change to expect in your sex life is that, because the seminal vesicles are removed during surgery, you wont ejaculate semen during orgasm.

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Other Possible Side Effects

Anorgasmia is the inability to achieve orgasm regardless of the level of stimulation.

2) Penile shrinkage

Removal of the prostate seems to initiate a phase of penile shrinkage that varies between 2 to 3 cm. For men with large organs, this may have little effect. But a man that starts on the small side might be very dismayed about it.

Early penile rehabilitation may avoid structural endothelial and smooth muscle damage by improving penile oxygenation.

3) Urine leakage or pain during intercourse

4) Urine leakage at orgasm

5) Pain or discomfort at orgasm

Side Effects From Hormone Therapy

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Hormone therapy for prostate cancer, known as androgen deprivation therapy , suppresses production of testosterone. ADT can cause several side effects. These include fatigue, hot flashes, decreased bone density, ED, depressed mood, decreased sex drive, weight gain, heart risks, breast growth and cognitive decline.

The severity and length of side effects depend on how long treatment lasts. “If a man has only six months of treatment, their level of testosterone rises again, and they’ll go back to feeling like themselves,” Calvaresi said.

Often, mood changes in men on ADT are caused by other side effects such as weight gain and hot flashes. “If we can manage those other side effects, then often that improves mood,” she said. Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly often helps to decrease fatigue, prevent weight gain and improve overall mood. Before beginning hormone therapy, you should discuss the effects of ADT with your doctor, and talk about how you can change your exercise and eating habits to help head off side effects before they occur.

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Does Prostate Shrink After Radiation

Radiation therapy can be an effective treatment for prostate cancer. It can shrink a tumor, relieve symptoms, and delay or halt the growth of cancer cells. A therapist may target a tumor with an intense beam of radiation from an external machine, or they may implant or inject radioactive materials into the body.

What Does The Prostate Actually Do

One of the prostates most important functions is helping in the creation of semen. It does this by creating a fluid that combines with sperm cells from the testicles and fluids from other glands to create semen.

The muscles of the prostate also play a pretty important role in helping expel the semen during ejaculation as well as letting urine flow out of the body. This function is why its common for those who have had surgery or radiation treatment for prostate cancer to experience the loss of the ability to control urination.

See also:What Does High PSA Mean?

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What Necessitates Prostate Removal

Prostate cancer and sometimes benign prostatic hyperplasia can necessitate the removal of prostate gland. However, the most common cause is prostatic cancer as BPH can nowadays be managed with other treatment options. The prostate gland removal surgery is known as prostatectomy. The risks, benefits and side-effects of prostatectomy should be discussed with the patient, before making the decision to get prostate gland removed.

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What Is The Recovery Time After Radical Prostatectomy

Prostate surgery

You may feel tired for a few weeks after surgery. Light exercise such as walking can help with the healing process. You should avoid heavy lifting for several weeks.

You may have urinary incontinence or leakage for weeks to months after the surgery, although most people recover continence after surgery. Recovery of sexual function is expected to take months. Your doctor may start you on a medication to help with recovery of erections.

Youll need regular follow-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor for evidence of cancer recurrence and manage effects from the surgery. They can work with you to improve any problems with erectile dysfunction or bladder control.

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What Is Prostate Removal

A prostatectomy is a surgical procedure for the partial or complete removal of the prostate, which is a small gland about the size of a ping-pong ball, located deep inside the groin, between the base of the penis and the rectum in men. The prostate supplies part of the seminal fluid , which mixes with sperm from the testes. Sperm needs this fluid to travel and survive for reproduction.

Difficulty Getting An Erection

You might have problems having an erection after a radical prostatectomy. This is impotence. Or you might produce less or no semen. This is known as a dry orgasm.

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.

There are medicines that can help with erection problems after surgery. You might need a drug like sildenafil or Viagra to help you get an erection. Your doctor or specialist nurse can also refer you to a clinic for people who have sexual problems after treatment. You can store sperm before your operation if you would like to have children in future.

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Diet Fluids And Bowel Movements

Constipation is a common side effect of pain medications and surgery. You should have received prescriptions for an oral stool softener and a laxative.

You should start drinking fluids as soon as you are comfortable after surgery, and you can resume your normal diet the first day after surgery. But while waiting for normal bowel function to return, you should avoid large meals in favor of several small meals a day. To prevent constipation, we recommend drinking at least eight to 10 glasses of fluids each day and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Avoid carbonated beverages and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage for approximately two weeks, as they frequently cause gassy discomfort and distention.

Take your stool softener and laxative as prescribed. Normal trajectory for return of bowel function is one to two days to pass gas, three to five days for the first bowel movement.

If you haven’t had a bowel movement by day three after your surgery, take oral Miralax , an over-the-counter laxative. You can combine Miralax with the prescribed stool softener and laxative. Follow the instructions on the box. Do not use any enemas or take stronger laxatives, such as magnesium citrate. Contact the clinic if you still haven’t had a bowel movement by day five.

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