Removing the Prostate Gland: Commonly Asked Questions on the Surgical Procedure

26 October 2016
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


The prostate is a gland found in the male reproductive system. Its function is to manufacture semen, which carries the sperm responsible for reproduction in men. Prostate cancer is among many diseases that affect the prostate gland. It results from the uncontrollable growth of cells in the prostate gland, interfering with the normal functioning of this organ. If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, one of the remedies available is to remove the prostate gland such that the abnormal cells do not spread to other parts of your body. This prostate cancer surgery is referred to as radical prostatectomy or total prostatectomy. Here is a look at some of the commonly asked questions on prostatectomy to help you gain insight:

How is the Procedure Carried Out?

Surgeons can use several methods to remove the prostate gland from your body. First, they can make a cut in your abdomen or between the back passage and your testicles (perineal), which provide a leeway of cutting off the prostate gland. In the process, the surgeon also gets rid of the lymph nodes, seminal vesicles (the tubes that carry semen) and other surrounding tissues. These organs must be removed because they work closely with the prostate and are likely to be affected by the cancerous cells. Another technique used to carry out the procedure is keyhole surgery. Here, your abdomen is filled with carbon dioxide gas for visibility. The surgeon then uses a tube and a lighting mechanism to examine the inside of your body as it is displayed on an electronic screen. They then cut the prostate and other tissues and remove it through a cut on your abdomen. This method is less painful and doesn't lead to too much blood loss.

What Can Limit You From Prostatectomy?

The first thing that can limit you from undergoing a prostatectomy is the severity of the prostate cancer. If it has spread outside the prostate gland, then other therapeutic measures such as chemotherapy may be preferable over prostatectomy. Secondly, you must be fit enough to endure the major surgery considering that you might lose lots of blood in the process. Age is also a factor. A host of other health complications often limit old men above the age of seventy-five.

What Should Expect after the Surgery?

After a prostatectomy, your urinary patterns and habits can change significantly. You might experience urinary leakage for a few weeks after the surgery. Therefore, your doctor will advise you on the physical exercises that you should undertake to strengthen your urinary control muscles. If you are totally unable to pass urine, you will require additional treatment for a condition referred to as urinal stricture.