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Prostate Surgery

What you need to know about prostate surgery

The prostate is a gland that forms part of the male reproductive system. Prostate surgery is typically something that is required in older men. It is the result of an enlarged prostate or a prostate that has become cancerous. There are a few different ways of performing the surgery, depending on the degree of the problem.

Surgery for Prostate Problems

Surgery is an option for cancer that has not spread outside the prostate. Prostate cancer surgery, called radical prostatectomy, involves the removal of the complete prostate, along with surrounding tissue, seminal vesicles (small glands near the prostate) , and part of the urethra. This surgery takes two to four hours to complete, followed by a hospital stay of two to five days. The patient must also use a catheter to drain the urine from their body for between ten days and three weeks.

Enlarged prostate surgery, called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), is performed to remove all or part of an enlarged prostate. This procedure takes about an hour, and can be done using a general anesthetic or a spinal anesthetic. The surgeon inserts a scope into the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis). A special cutting tool is then inserted into the scope, and the prostate is cut and removed using an electric current.

One of the less invasive forms of surgery involves using a laser. During laser prostate surgery, the surgeon inserts a laser through a scope in the urethra. He then delivers 30 to 60 second bursts of energy into the area. These bursts of energy cause shrinkage to the prostate and destroy prostate tissue. An advantage of laser prostate surgery is that it causes less blood loss than conventional surgery. Because this method is fairly new, nobody is sure how effective it may be in the long term. It may also not be as effective on larger prostates.

Recovery from Prostate Surgery

Prostate surgery recovery time depends on the extent of the problem and the type of surgery that was given. In most cases, a catheter will be placed, to help with the passing of urine. There may also be some blood clots found in the urine as it flushes itself out. It is important to drink a lot of water during recovery to help flush out the system. During the first few weeks after surgery, the patient should take it easy. They should avoid heavy lifting, or any movement that could rip the incision. The patient should talk with their doctor before returning to a regular routine.

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