Prostatectomy (removal of the prostate)

What is prostatectomy?

Prostatectomy is a surgery to remove part or all of the prostate gland (prostate).

This removal of the prostate can be done with a urethral resection or by accessing it suprapubically, with a small incision in the lower abdomen. The patient can be operated under general or local anesthesia.

Why is it performed?

The prostate gland is a cavity that surrounds the urethra and, as it grows, can cause urination problems. If the prostate increases in size (prostatic hypertrophy), it may be due to an overgrowth of the gland (benign prostatic hypertrophy) or cancer (prostatic carcinoma).

The patient can know if he/she has an enlarged prostate if he/she has the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination with a small amount of urine.
  • Urgent need to urinate during the night (nocturia).
  • Difficulty in starting to urinate.
  • Little urine flow.
  • Dribbling when you finish urinating.
  • Sensation of lack of bladder emptying even though you have urinated.

What does it consist of?

As mentioned above, prostatectomy can be performed by means of two procedures:

  • Transurethral resection: This is performed with a special cystoscope (resectoscope). This is introduced through the orifice of the urethra, located at the end of the penis, to access the prostate. The prostate is removed with a cutting instrument. To do so, it is cauterized with an electric scalpel and then a catheter is left in the urethra to allow the patient to empty the bladder for a few days. At the same time it serves as a drainage of blood or pus.
  • Suprapubic access: The procedure is performed with an abdominal incision through which the prostate is accessed and removed.
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Preparation for prostatectomy

Prostatectomy does not usually require any special preparation. However, it is possible that the urologist may indicate the cessation of fluid intake. In addition, before entering the operating room, the patient is usually catheterized so that the remaining urine in the body can be eliminated, for which anesthesia will be necessary.

Care after the operation

After the prostatectomy the patient is usually admitted to the hospital for 7-10 days. Full recovery will take place approximately 3 weeks after the operation.

After the operation, the patient should avoid drinking coffee, cola and alcoholic beverages because they irritate the bladder and urethra.

There are some specific risks that rarely occur, but may occur:

  • Urine retention problems.
  • Alterations in the erection of the penis, producing impotence.
  • Infertility.
  • Retrograde ejaculation: passage of semen into the bladder during ejaculation.

If any of these risks occur, it is important to see a specialist in Urology, so that the case can be properly studied.