Monday, October 3, 2022

What Happens When You Get Your Prostate Taken Out

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What Is Prostate Removal

How to Help Recover Sexual Function After Your Prostate Surgery? | Ask a Prostate Expert | PCRI

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.

What Is Prostate Cancer

Cancer can start any place in the body. Prostate cancer starts in the prostate gland. It starts when cells in the prostate grow out of control.

Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body. Cancer cells in the prostate can sometimes travel to the bones or other organs and grow there. When cancer cells do this, its called metastasis. To doctors, the cancer cells in the new place look just like the ones from the prostate.

Cancer is always named for the place where it starts. So when prostate cancer spreads to the bones , its still called prostate cancer. Its not called bone cancer unless it starts from cells in the bone.

Ask your doctor to use this picture to show you where your cancer is.

The prostate

The prostate is a gland found only in men, so only men can get prostate cancer.

The prostate is just below the bladder and in front of the rectum . The tube that carries pee goes through the prostate. The prostate makes some of the fluid that helps keep the sperm alive and healthy.

There are a few types of prostate cancer. Some are very rare. Most prostate cancers are a type called adenocarcinoma. This cancer starts from gland cells. Your doctor can tell you more about the type you have.

Urinary Problems After Surgery

Leaking urine

Most men cant control their bladder properly when their catheter is first removed. This is because surgery can damage the muscles and nerves that control when you urinate.You might just leak a few drops if you exercise, cough or sneeze . Or you might leak more and need to wear absorbent pads, especially in the weeks after your surgery.Leaking urine usually improves with time. Most men start to see an improvement one to six months after surgery. Some men leak urine for a year or more and others never fully recover, but there are;things that can help;and;ways you can manage it.

Difficulty urinating

A few men may find it difficult to urinate after surgery . This can be caused by scarring around the opening of the bladder or the urethra .Some men find they suddenly and painfully cant urinate. This is called acute urine retention and it needs treating quickly to prevent further problems. If this happens, call your doctor or nurse, or go to your nearest accident and emergency department.

Watch;Paul’s story for one man’s experience of managing urinary problems after surgery below.

Sexual problems after surgery

Erection problems

Change in penis size and shape

Changes to orgasm

The seminal vesicles, which make some of the fluid in semen, are removed during surgery. This means you wont ejaculate any more. You may have a dry orgasm instead where you feel the sensation of orgasm but dont ejaculate. This may feel different to the orgasms youre used to.

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Cancer Treatments And Erectile Dysfunction

Following surgery, many men experience erectile dysfunction , but for many, the disruption is temporary. Nerves damaged during surgery may result in erectile dysfunction. A nerve-sparing prostatectomy;may reduce the chances of nerve damage. Another factor is the surgeons skill level for performing the nerve-sparing technique, which if done correctly, may improve patients likelihood of retaining erectile function, says Dr. Shelfo.

Prostate cancer may also be treated with various types of radiation therapybrachytherapy, external beam radiation;or stereotactic body radiation therapy. Each type of therapy causes somewhat different side effects. About half of all prostate cancer patients who undergo any of these types of radiation therapy are likely to develop erectile dysfunction, according to a 2016 article published in Advances in Radiation Oncology.

When you compare surgery with radiation, both may affect erections, says Dr. Shelfo. Surgery is usually more immediate, and sexual dysfunction has the potential with time to improve. With radiation, erections are usually less affected in the beginning, but over timemonths or, sometimes, yearssexual dysfunction may develop. Both treatments may affect sexual function, resulting in no ejaculate or the ability to attain erections.

What Changes Can You Expect

What to Expect After Prostate Cancer Surgery
  • Ejaculation will cease:Without a prostate gland or seminal vesicles, you will no longer experience ejaculation. Even though your orgasm may feel different, it will still be pleasurable.
  • Leaking urine during sex:This is possible but does not happen to all men. Its harmless and temporary.
  • Performance anxiety:Dont underestimate the emotional roller coaster of prostate cancer surgery and recovery. Its normal to worry about sex after prostate cancer. Being open and honest with your partner will help.

Keep in mind that your overall health, age, and present ED status are all factors in your recovery to sex after prostate surgery.

Less commonly, the prostate cancer tumor may bulge to one or both sides of the prostate gland, making nerve-sparing surgery extremely difficult or impossible.

Dr. Samadi will help you understand your exact prostate cancer status and the position and size of your tumor. In some cases, a nerve graft can be performed to regenerate the penile nerves for sex after prostate surgery.

  • Changes in mood and libido:The psychological impact of surgery can be significant; this will leave you tired and irritable, not in the mood for sex so you will need to move towards intimacy slowly and your desire will return back to normal.

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What Kind Of Treatment Will I Need

There are many ways to treat prostate cancer. The main kinds of treatment are observation, active surveillance, surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemo. Sometimes more than one kind of treatment is used.

The treatment thats best for you will depend on:

  • Your age
  • Any other health problems you might have
  • The stage and grade of the cancer
  • Your feelings about the need to treat the cancer
  • The chance that treatment will cure the cancer or help in some way
  • Your feelings about the side effects that might come with treatment

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;
  • Open surgery
  • Uses traditional incisions and tools
  • May be used for more complex cases
  • 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

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    Nutrition And Dietary Supplements

    Some studies have suggested that eating a healthy diet that is rich in vegetables and lower in animal fats might be helpful, but more research is needed to be sure. However, we do know that a healthy diet can have positive effects on your overall health, with benefits that extend beyond your risk of prostate or other cancers.

    So far, no dietary supplements have been shown to clearly help lower the risk of prostate cancer progressing or coming back. In fact, some research has suggested that some supplements, such as selenium, might even be harmful. This doesnt mean that no supplements will help, but its important to know that none have been proven to do so.

    Dietary supplements are not regulated like medicines in the United States they do not have to be proven effective before being sold, although there are limits on what theyre allowed to claim they can do. If you are thinking about taking any type of nutritional supplement, talk to your health care team. They can help you decide which ones you can use safely while avoiding those that could be harmful.

    Q: What Side Effects May Occur After Robotic Surgery Is There A Way To Recover

    Understanding your prostate cancer | Prostate Cancer UK

    Answer: The robot will bleed a lot of surgery before the operation, so the risk of heart disease and stroke is higher. Now that the robot has a knife, it bleeds very little, almost two hundred CC. But at first you will have a urinary tube when you leave the hospital, and it will be pulled out after about a week. Most patients will need to wear a diaper when the catheter is pulled out, and then may need to change three to four times a day. After slowly recovering, maybe three to six months, the bladder control will be better.

    Most young people will suffer from impotence if they are operated on, but they can be recovered. However, 50% of patients over 65 years old may not recover. This depends on the age.

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    When Can I Return To Sexual Activity

    Let the surgery heal for three to four weeks before attempting anything. After one month after the robotic prostatectomy, it is recommended that you resume sexual activity. Stimulation of the nerves is thought to be a first step on the journey back to potency. Remember that you can still experience the pleasures of orgasm and other sensual stimulations without full erections. The average time to recovery for erections adequate for intercourse is 6-12 months, but in some men it is even longer. You should also be performing kegel exercises regularly to help your return to potency.

    What Do We Know About Potency After A Robitic Prostatectomy

    The return of potency is dependent on several factors:

    • Previous sexual function before surgery. Unfortunately, robotic prostatectomy will at best return you to your level of sexual function pre-surgery. It will not improve upon what you already had before surgery.
    • Age. Theyounger you are, the better your chances. Men under 65 have abetter chance of regaining potency, or erectile function than those over 65.
    • How many nerves are spared. As discussed previously, ideally both nerves can be spared and thiswill give you the highest chance of regain erections. However,even men with no nerve sparing can regain erectile function.

    Ejaculation will no longer occur in any patient. This is because the seminal vesicles and the vas deferens , are removed and cut during the surgery. This means that you will no longer be able to father children

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    What Other Tests Do I Need

    After prostatectomy, youll probably have a PSA test in about six weeks or so. Your doctor will recommend a follow-up schedule, usually every three months for two years. Depending on the results, you may need to test once or twice a year thereafter. Testing may be more frequent if it appears to be rising.

    If your PSA levels are high and you have symptoms such as bone pain, imaging tests can be used to determine if cancer has spread. These may include bone scans and CT scans. If a mass is found, a biopsy can determine if its cancerous.

    You might not need treatment right away. If youve had multiple PSA tests and it appears that your PSA level is rising, a number of other factors determine the next steps. These factors include:

    • age and life expectancy
    • if cancer has spread and where
    • previous treatments

    Radiation therapy after prostatectomy, also known as salvage radiotherapy, can be quite effective after a prostatectomy. External beam radiation can be delivered directly to the area around where the prostate was. The goal is to destroy prostate cells that may have been left behind after surgery. This lowers the risk of recurrence and metastasis, or of the cancer spreading.

    Metastatic prostate cancer may not be curable, but there are treatments to slow progression and manage symptoms. Treatments may include:

    How Soon After Prostate Cancer Treatment Can I Be Sexually Active Again

    What Should I Expect After Prostate Cancer Surgery?

    This will depend on what type of treatment you have had and how you feel. It could be several weeks, for others it may be a lot longer for erections to return. Some men will never be able to keep an erection without the help of artificial methods like medicines or medical devices . If you were having problems having erections before treatment, this will not get better after treatment.

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    What Is A Radical Prostatectomy

    Surgery to remove the prostate is called a radical prostatectomy. Before the operation, the surgeon will explain what will happen and tell you about the possible side effects. They may also tell you about other treatments that may help in your situation, such as radiotherapy.

    The aim of the surgery is to remove all of the cancer cells. It is usually only done when the cancer is contained within the prostate and has not spread to the surrounding area.

    How Long Does Urinary Incontinence After Prostate Surgery Last

    It’s impossible to say exactly how long it lasts. The chances of you having urinary problems may be influenced by your age, weight and the physical characteristics of your urethra .

    However, a majority of men are eventually continent after a radical prostatectomy. In many cases, men are able to go safely without any kind of incontinence product after about three months. This is especially true of men who are healthy overall and fall into the age range of 40 to 60 years. If you are having persistent problems, its important to know that there are ways to treat urinary incontinence after prostate surgery.

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    After Prostate Removal The Sperm Has To Go Somewhere But Where

    Men who are facing prostate removal due to cancer will surely wonder where their sperm will go after removal of the prostate gland. Its fair to wonder about this.

    First of all, sperm is produced in the testicles.

    The testicles continue to make sperm, but because the vas deferens is clipped and cut, and because there is no prostate or seminal vesicles, there is no ejaculate, explains Michael Herman, MD, director of urologic oncology at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, NY.

    People can continue to have orgasms, though, because the nerves that have to do with climax are unaffected, and are actually not related to whether or not someone ejaculates.

    The sperm gets broken down and reabsorbed by the body. This is the same process as if someone were abstinent or had a vasectomy.

    In short, prostate removal will not affect sperm production or quantity. It only affects what happens to the sperm once its produced.

    Unfortunately, removal of the prostate may be more of an issue to a woman than to the man, if she believes she cant enjoy intimate relations without ejaculations.

    Men who have partners like this should focus on all that can be done to treat their prostate cancer and prevent a recurrence.

    Women who feel deprived without the ejaculate need a harsh lesson in priorities.

    Prostate cancer affects one out of six men as a lifetime risk, and the number it kills every year in the U.S. averages in the high 20,000s.

    How Does The Doctor Know I Have Prostate Cancer

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    Prostate cancer tends to grow slowly over many years. Most men with early prostate cancer dont have changes that they notice. Signs of prostate cancer most often show up later, as the cancer grows.

    Some signs of prostate cancer are trouble peeing, blood in the pee , trouble getting an erection, and pain in the back, hips, ribs, or other bones.

    If signs are pointing to prostate cancer, tests will be done. Most men will not need all of them, but here are some of the tests you may need:

    PSA blood test:;PSA is a protein thats made by the prostate gland and can be found in the blood. Prostate cancer can make PSA levels go up. Blood tests will be done to see what your PSA level is and how it changes over time.

    Transrectal ultrasound :;For this test, a small wand is put into your rectum. It gives off sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off the prostate gland. The echoes are made into a picture on a computer screen.

    MRI:;This test uses radio waves and strong magnets to make detailed pictures of the body. MRI scans can be used to look at the prostate and can show if the cancer has spread outside the prostate to nearby organs.

    Prostate biopsy:;For a prostate biopsy, the doctor uses a long, hollow needle to take out small pieces of the prostate where the cancer might be. This is often done while using TRUS or MRI to look at the prostate. The prostate pieces are then checked for cancer cells. Ask the doctor what kind of biopsy you need and how its done.

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    Radical Prostatectomy To Remove The Prostate

    Making decisions about surgeryTalk to your surgeon about what types of surgery are available to you. Ask about the advantages and disadvantages of each option. There may be extra costs involved for some procedures and they are not all available at every hospital. You may want to consider getting a second opinion about the most suitable type of surgery.The surgeons experience and skill is more important than the type of surgery offered.Compared to open surgery, both standard laparoscopic surgery and robotic-assisted surgery usually mean a shorter hospital stay, less bleeding, a smaller scar and a faster recovery. Current evidence suggests that the different approaches have a similar risk of side effects and no difference in outcomes.Whichever surgical approach is used, a radical prostatectomy is major surgery and youll need time to recover.

    View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.

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