When prostate cancer is detected early enough, before it has spread beyond the prostate gland, surgery is often recommended as the cure. Also known as prostatectomy, surgery for prostate cancer involves removal of the entire prostate and nearby lymph nodes. The surgery not only aims to remove the cancer but also to provide a close look at the pathology of the cancer. It ensures that treatment is completed within a shorter period of time compared to other options such as radiotherapy. Surgery also has immediate psychological benefits in patients who take comfort in knowing that the cancer has been removed.
3 Essential Facts About Prostate Cancer Surgery
1. There are two basic approaches: Open and Laparoscopic.
To remove the cancer, the urologist gains access to the prostate and associated lymph nodes either by open radical prostatectomy or laparoscopic prostatectomy (either manually or robot-assisted). Open radical surgery for prostate cancer is the procedure whereby an incision, roughly 10 centimeters in length, is made in the patient’s lower abdomen (belly button to pubic bone) or in the skin between anus and scrotum (perineum) in order to access the prostate and affected lymph nodes. In laparoscopic surgery the urologist may use either a small camera and instruments (laparoscope) to make several small incisions or perform the surgery with robotic equipment that provides 3-D vision and dexterity.
2. Robot-assisted prostatectomy gives better precision and outcome.
Robotic prostatectomy is performed using a robotic interface (the da Vinci System), with the surgeon sitting at a control panel and moving robotic arms to operate via several minute incisions made in the patient’s abdomen. The da Vinci system ensures less pain, minimal blood loss and shorter recovery time than open surgery. For surgeons, robotic surgery ensures more maneuverability and greater precision in the movement of surgical instruments.
3. The success of the operation depends on the surgeon’s skill and experience.
Like any surgery, prostate surgery is associated with risks regardless of the approach used. Therefore, whether you opt for open or laparoscopic surgery, you must find an experienced and highly skilled urologist capable of conducting operations with minimal risks. The surgeon should be capable of performing operations that ensure that nerves near the prostate are not harmed. Remember, in some cases, the urologist will have to remove small amounts of tissue that contain lymph nodes near your prostate or will remove the prostate gland together with the seminal vesicles and vas deferens. So the more skilled and experienced the surgeon, the higher the chance of success.
For more information on successful surgery for prostate cancer, visit the website of St Pete Urology in St Petersburg, Florida.