Common Prostate Cancer Surgery Procedures

Posted on: 20 May 2021

When a doctor diagnoses you with prostate cancer, the first thing they do is determine whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The reason is that localised prostate cancer can be treated with surgery, but it becomes much more difficult if it has spread. However, advancements in cancer surgery have improved the chances of survival. Notably, doctors can combine different treatments, such as radiation and systemic therapy, with surgery for better results. There are different types of prostate cancer surgery, and doctors select the most appropriate based on specific factors. This post highlights common prostate cancer surgery procedures.

Radical Prostatectomy 

This is arguably the most common prostate cancer surgery. Radical or open prostatectomy involves the complete removal of the prostate gland and surrounding tissue. It is an invasive surgery and can last a few minutes, depending on the size or spread of cancerous tissue. Doctors recommend radical prostatectomy to patients with early-stage prostate cancer since it reduces the chances of the disease spreading. Note that surgeons will not continue with the procedure if they learn that the cancer has spread. It is the reason testing lymph nodes before surgery is essential.

Laparoscopic Prostate Surgery 

Laparoscopic prostate surgery is the complete opposite of open prostate surgery because it is a minimally invasive procedure. Notably, there are two approaches to laparoscopic prostate surgery: laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. In the former procedure, a surgeon makes minor cuts through which they insert surgical instruments and a small laser camera tubing. The fibre-optic tube gives clear images, allowing a surgeon to perform the surgery with precision. On the other hand, robotic-assisted laparoscopy involves a robotic interface. A surgeon directs a robotic arm in an operating room as they view movements in a computer monitor. This type of laparoscopic prostate surgery provides superior manoeuvrability for a precise procedure. Both procedures involve minimal blood loss and pain, promoting faster recovery.

Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) 

Difficulty in peeing is a common problem among prostate cancer patients. It is often characterised by an enlarged prostate pressing on the urethra and blocking the urine passageway. In such cases, a surgeon conducts transurethral resection and removes the enlarged section of the prostate gland wrapping around the urethra. It is done by cutting tissue using a surgical scalpel or by sending electricity to vaporise the tissue. Either procedure eases pressure on the urethra, allowing the passageway to widen. The cut tissue falls into the bladder and is flushed out after the procedure.