The following are some of the different surgical options used to treat prostate cancer:
Surgery for prostate cancer generally requires a stay in the hospital. The length of the hospital stay will depend on the type of procedure performed. A urinary catheter will be inserted into the bladder during surgery, and will be kept in place for a period of time afterward, often for one to two weeks.
Long-term, serious side effects are somewhat less common now than in the past, as new surgical methods continue to be introduced. New, nerve-sparing surgical procedures may prevent permanent injury to the nerves that control erection, and damage to the opening of the bladder. However, possible complications and side effects of prostate cancer surgery still exist. Recent research shows that having an experienced surgeon leads to a better outcome for patients. Be sure to discuss the following with your doctor before a surgical procedure:
This effect on a man's ability to achieve an erection is related to the stage of the cancer, the patient's ability to have an erection before surgery, and the patient's age. However, most men who have surgery should expect some decrease in their ability to have an erection. For men who are completely impotent after surgery, several solutions are available.
There do not appear to be major differences in terms of these side effects for the different types of radical prostatectomy. Laparoscopic approaches (including robotic surgery) tend to result in shorter hospital stays, less pain, and quicker recovery times because they use smaller incisions. But the rates of incontinence and impotence are about the same as they are with the more traditional approach to prostatectomy. Again, the skill and experience of the surgeon probably matters more than the type of surgery.
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