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Prostate Cancer Treatment Options - Radical Prostatectomy

By Edited Apr 26, 2016 0 0

Radical prostatectomy is a major surgery that's used to completely remove the prostate gland and some surrounding tissue. The operation is performed under general and local anesthesia and is used to treat prostate cancer with the hope of preventing the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body. Generally speaking, there are two main options for doing this surgery, an open surgery or a minimal invasive technique called laparoscopic surgery.

Open Surgery
Though doctors often do the open surgery by hand, a few do it with robotic assistance called robot-assisted prostatectomy. Depending on the specifics of a case, a surgeon may elect to make an incision in the lower belly (called the retropubic approach) or make an incision in the groin area between the anus and scrotum (called the perineal approach). The recovery times for this procedure may be shorter than the retropubic approach but the choice as to which approach will be used depends on the location of the cancer in the gland and the size of the growth, among other factors.

Laparoscopic Surgery
Laparoscopic surgery is a minimal invasion surgical technique in which a surgeon uses a laparoscope and special instruments to remove the prostate through a small incision made in the belly. The surgeon is able to see inside the patient with the use of video cameras, which are used to project images onto a video monitor. Because this is a minimal invasion technique, patients tend to loose less blood and recover more quickly than patients on whom an open surgery is performed.

Benefits of laparoscopic Surgery
While the laparoscopic technique does not allow for the same level of dexterity, as what can be accomplished in a open surgery, the surgeon's control over the laparoscope and cameras is greatly improved where Robot assisted surgery is available and used. Robotic prostatectomy, as it is sometimes called, requires the skills of a specially trained surgeon and very specialized equipment. While the laparoscopic surgical technique is more challenging to execute by the surgeon, it offers significant advantages to the patient that include:
· Less post operative discomfort
· Shorter recovery times
· Shorter hospital stays and
· Less internally and externally scarring.

Side effects of Prostatectomy Surgery
As is the case with many major surgical procedures, there are risks inherent in just having the procedure done. Such issues include: problems that can arise from the use of anesthesia during the surgery, there is also a small risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots in the legs, infection, and post-operative bleeding. Other common side effects, specific to having prostate cancer, may include impotence and incontinence.

Studies show that up to half of the men who undergo radical prostatectomy experience problems with their bladder after the surgery, while between 15% and 50% reported having problems up to a year after the surgery. On the other hand up to 80% may experience erectile problems after the surgery. The good news is that most of these functions will return in the months that follow the surgery but how quickly the functions returns and to what extent depend on:
· How old the man was at the time of the surgery
· The extent to which the nerves that control the function where affected and
· Whether the man could have an erection before the surgery

The objective of a prostatectomy is to remove the prostate gland and any surrounding tissue that may be diseased or may contribute to the re-occurrence of the cancer. This procedure often necessitates the cutting of nerves or the removal of tissue that are essential to the performance of certain important bodily functions, such as bladder control or achieving an erection. Whether or not the surgeon plans to operate in such a way to preserve these functions, the risk still exists that there will be significantly side effects.

Radical prostatectomy might not be the best treatment option for prostate cancer in every case but it is a well-established procedure that has been used successful to treat prostate cancer in many patients.
Other prostate cancer treatment options include:
· Brachytherapy Radiation
· Cryotherapy (cryosurgery)
· Hormone Therapy or Androgen Deprivation therapy
· Watchful Waiting
· Herbal Alternatives



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