Radical Prostatectomy – Prostate Cancer Treatment

Radical Prostatectomy is an operation to remove the cancer affected prostate gland and some of the tissues around. It is done to remove prostate cancer. This operation may be done by open surgery or it may be done by laparoscopic surgery.

Open Surgery

In open surgery, the surgeon makes an incision to reach the prostate gland. Depending on the case this incision may be made either in the lower belly or in the perineum between the anus and the scrotum. When incision is done in the lower belly, it is called retro pubic approach. In this procedure the surgeon may also remove lymph nodes in the area so that they can be tested of cancer.

When the incision is made in the perineum it is called perineal approach. The recovery time after this surgery may be shorter than retro pubic approach. However if the surgeon wants to remove lymph nodes around the prostate he has to make another incision. If the lymph nodes are believed to be free of cancer based on the grade of cancer and the result of PSA test, the surgeon made not remove the lymph nodes.

Laparoscopic Surgery

For laparoscopic surgery the surgeon makes several incisions in the belly. A lighted viewing instrument called the laparoscope is inserted through one of the incisions. The surgeon uses special instruments to reach and remove the prostate through the other incisions.

Robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is a surgery through small incisions in the belly with robotic arms that translate the movement of the surgeon’s hand motion into finer and more precise action. This surgery requires specially trained doctors.

The main goal of either open or laparoscopic surgery is to remove all the cancer cells. The tumor is therefore removed using a nerve sparing technique, which enables the patient to maintain his sexual vitality.

What to expect after surgery?

The patient has to use a catheter for urination both during and after the operation; which has to be used for 1 to 3 weeks after the operation under the doctor’s guidance. Even after the operation the patients regular checkups make include:

  • Physical examination.
  • Prostate- specific antigen (PSA) test.
  • Digital rectal exams.
  • Biopsies as needed.

Why is the operation done?

It is done to remove cancer tissues in and around the prostate gland. It is also used to relieve urinary obstruction in stage III cancer.