Prostate Cancer Surgery Explained

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Prostate cancer is typically treated with surgery, and prompt treatment is recommended, as it can be fatal. The surgery, known as radical prostatectomy, can be carried out using keyhole or traditional open surgery techniques. It involves complete removal of the prostate, and the surrounding tissue is often removed at the same time to ensure no cancerous cells remain. The ability to have sexual intercourse is not impacted by prostate cancer surgery, but ejaculation will not be possible. If you feel you will struggle to come to terms with this, your doctor can refer you for pre-surgery counselling support.

When making the decision regarding the surgical technique that will be used during your prostate cancer surgery, your surgeon will consider a range of factors including your weight and your general health aside from having prostate cancer. Here's a comparison of the main differences between open and keyhole prostate cancer surgery:

Open Prostate Cancer Surgery

Open prostate cancer surgery involves having a large incision made in your lower abdomen from your belly button to your pelvis. The advantage of this type of surgery is that it provides lots of room for your surgeon to access and remove the prostate without the need to dissect it. Stitches or staples are used to close the wound, and you will need to have these removed at a follow-up appointment. After open prostate cancer surgery, you will need to stay in hospital for a few days to ensure your wound is healing well and there's no sign of infection.

Keyhole Prostate Cancer Surgery

Keyhole prostate cancer surgery involves having a few small, typically thumbnail-sized, incisions made in your abdomen. Your surgeon will pass a small camera on the end of a thin tube and a number of small surgical tools through the incisions. The camera will be linked to a monitor, which will allow your surgeon to see exactly what they are doing throughout the procedure. The surgical tools will be used to break down the prostate into small pieces in order for it to be removed through a tube with the help of a suction tool. Keyhole prostate cancer surgery can be carried out as a day case procedure and is associated with a shorter healing time and reduced incidence of post-surgical infection.

Prostate cancer surgery is considered safe and effective, but you should ensure you are fully informed and have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you have with your doctor before your surgery is scheduled.