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Notes on Operations

Radical Prostatectomy

Radical Prostatectomy

This is an operation which involves removing the prostate gland from its position between the bladder and the water pipe (urethra) the bladder neck is then rejoined to the urethra.

It is one of the treatments to attempt to cure prostate cancer. More information on how the choice is made can be found in the prostate cancer section of the site.

The operation performed through an incision between the pubic bone and the belly button. The patient is usually in hospital for between 5 and 7 days. It is normal to be sore for the first 2 or 3 days but the majority of men make a very rapid recovery. The first 24 hours or so are spent on the high dependency unit. Not usually because the patients are very ill after the surgery but to enable the use of an epidural for pain relief.

The main early complication of the procedure is bleeding during the operation which may result in the need for a blood transfusion. The later complications include a risk of long term incontinence (upto 1 in 10) resulting in the need to wear a pad in the underwear in case of accidents. In addition the majority of patients are rendered impotent. Although natural erections are impossible for up to 90% of individuals, with assistance, many more will be able to resume sexual activity. Finally, up to 1 in 10 people will suffer from recurrent blockages at the join between the bladder and urethra, these often need repeated surgery with some patients needing to pass a catheter (small tube) into their bladder regularly to keep the urethra patent.


Alternatives to radical prostatectomy include HIFU and radiotherapy (external beam and brachytherapy), see the prostate cancer section and the HIFU section for more information.




Bladder Removal

Kidney Removal

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Vasectomy Reversal


Radical Prostatectomy