The prostate is an organ of the male sex, which plays a very important role in human reproduction in men.
This organ has a number of functions. On the one hand, it is responsible for the secretion of seminal fluid and the redirection of semen when male ejaculation occurs. On the other hand, it prevents the passage of urine into the testicles, which would lead to infection. In addition, it also propels semen when sexually stimulated to produce ejaculate.
Ejaculated semen contains a perfect mixture of chemicals produced by the prostate, which are necessary for the sperm to stay alive inside the woman’s vaginal canal and carry out the fertilization of the egg.
What are the most common prostate conditions?
On the one hand, there is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is produced by hormonal changes, since the tissues of the gland become hypersensitive to the testosterone hormone, causing it to enlarge or hypertrophy in excess. The indicated treatment is with drugs that decrease the sensitivity to these hormones.
On the other hand, there is prostate cancer, a much more aggressive disease. It is the most frequent malignant neoplasm in elderly patients and produces an enlargement of the prostate, which generates difficulties in urinating. In order to achieve treatment efficacy, it is important to establish an early diagnosis.
Radical prostatectomy is characterized by the complete removal of the prostate when there is a serious neoplastic process involving the organ. This technique is generally indicated in patients with prostate cancer.
Radical prostatectomy by laparoscopy is indicated in male patients with cancer in the glandular portion of the prostate (or adenocarcinoma) and without metastasis, because the latter implies invasion of nearby tissues such as lymph nodes.
Advantages of laparoscopy over conventional techniques
Conventional techniques such as open surgery require an incision of 20 centimeters. In contrast, laparoscopy only requires four to five incision points of less than two centimeters. Thus, the procedure has:
- Better recovery rate
- Minimal complications
- Almost imperceptible scar
- Minimal blood loss
- Short hospital stay
Prior to surgery, the surgeon performs a series of consultations to examine the patient and order imaging studies such as MRI and ultrasound scans. This serves to evaluate the state of the prostate and to foresee what the surgery will be like. Some blood tests are also indicated to determine the blood chemistry by means of a hemogram.
In addition to this, it is also recommended that the patient modifies some habits and lifestyles such as:
- Stop taking anticoagulant drugs.
- Stop consuming analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Maintain a liquid or semi-liquid diet in the 24 hours prior to surgery.
- Abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and any narcotics will probably also be indicated.
How is the anesthesia for the surgery?
The anesthesia used to perform this surgery is general anesthesia because of the anatomy of the abdomen and pelvis. This ensures that the procedure is completely painless.
During the surgery: the step by step
To perform the surgery, which usually lasts approximately 3 hours, the surgeon makes four to five two-centimeter incisions in the abdomen. These orifices are used to introduce the surgical instruments for the total resection of the gland, as well as a video camera so that the specialist can see the procedure at all times.
Care after laparoscopic prostate surgery
After surgery, the patient must stay in the hospital for two or three days to monitor progress and prevent complications. In addition, the patient must follow a series of dietary recommendations, since the diet must be practically liquid, slowly introducing more solid foods.
On the other hand, medications for postoperative pain relief and antibiotics for the prevention of infections are also indicated.
After surgery the patient must rest at home for two to three weeks.
Differences between laparoscopy and robotic laparoscopy
Unlike traditional laparoscopy, robotic laparoscopy is assisted by a robot, so that the surgeon controls and, with the help of a monitor, moves the instruments inside the patient’s body.
What are the results?
Approximately 97% of the cases the treatment is effective. However, these results may vary from patient to patient.