What Happens During Surgery for Prostate Cancer Treatment?

What Happens During Surgery for Prostate Cancer Treatment?

by Jeetendra Kumar (SU)

Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men, after skin cancer. Prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men. About 6 out of 10 cases are diagnosed in men age 65 or over, and it is typically rare in patients who are below the age of 40.

One of the ways to treat cancer is through surgery. A comprehensive approach is often employed, which includes radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy. The two most commonly used surgical approaches for patients with prostate cancer are radical prostatectomy and transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). Let us discuss these two surgical approaches.

Radical Prostatectomy

Radical prostatectomy is radical in that it removes the entire prostate gland, the goal of which is to remove all cancer, in an attempt to cure the patient. The steps for open radical prostatectomy are as follows:

  1. The patient is placed under general anesthesia and given a catheter to empty the bladder.
  2. There are two approaches to this, one is through the abdomen and the second is through the perineum region or the area between the scrotum and anus. An incision is made in the lower abdomen or perineum region to expose the prostate gland.
  3. The surgeon removes the prostate gland along with some of the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes.
  4. If only part of your prostate needs to be removed, this procedure may be called a partial or subtotal radical prostatectomy instead of radical prostatectomy. In this case, only one side (lobe) of your prostate will be removed through an incision in the lower abdomen on either side of the penis. If your entire prostate needs to be removed as well as some surrounding tissue, this procedure may also be called an extended or total pelvic lymph node dissection (ePLND). In this case, the surgeon will make additional incisions near each hipbone in order to access and remove any enlarged lymph nodes from around the pelvis.
  5. The urethra is then reconnected to what remains of the bladder, so urine can once again flow out through it.
  6. A drain tube may also be placed into one end of the urethra before it’s reconnected in order to help prevent leakage.
  7. Finally, the incisions will be closed with stitches.

This procedure can be performed using minimally invasive laparoscopy, which allows the surgeon to remove the prostate through long and thin instruments and small incisions made in the abdomen.

Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat prostate cancer but not cure it. The procedure involves removing part of the prostate through the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.

To access the prostate, your surgeon will insert a thin, flexible telescope-like instrument called a cystoscope through your penis and into your urethra. Once in place, they will use another instrument to remove tissue from around your urethra until it is no longer constricted. In some cases, a small portion of the surrounding tissue may also be removed to ensure clear margins.

Patients who undergo transurethral resection of the prostate can experience relief from symptoms of prostate cancer, such as difficulty urinating.

Prostate Cancer Treatment in Phoenix, AZ

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you should have a highly skilled urologist in Phoenix as part of your health care team. At Ironwood Urology, we have board-certified and fellowship-trained Dr. Desiderio Avila Jr. as our urologist. Dr. Avila is a top urologist in Phoenix and is a leading expert in the treatment of men’s health issues, and provides compassionate support to each one of our patients.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Avila, call our office today at (480) 961-2323 or use our convenient online appointment request form. We look forward to being part of your health care team.