Prostate Removal Surgery: Recovery Time And Its Side Effects

Prostate removal surgery, also called prostatectomy is a procedure to remove prostate gland present in man. During the surgery, prostate can be removed in parts or as a whole prostate gland. Following are the indications for prostate operation;

  • Prostatism: Benign prostatic enlargement (BPH) causes increased difficulty while passing urine with considerable frequency day and night, delay in starting and poor stream of urine are some of the symptoms for which prostate removal surgery is advised.
  • Acute retention which is not relieved by passing a catheter.
  • Chronic retention of urine: When the residual urine (left over urine after voiding) in the bladder is 200 ml or more.
    Raised blood urea, enlarged ureter or enlarged kidney due to urine retention demonstrated on X-ray and sonogram.
  • Complications such as stone, diverticulum formation, etc.
  • Hemorrhage caused due to ruptured vein overlying the prostate, which does not stop on catheterization, needs emergency prostate removal surgery.
  • Lastly, cancer of prostate.

Prostate Removal Surgery

Prostate gland is a reproductive organ in man, situated under the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the neck of the bladder and the urethra (tube through which urine passes from the bladder). The gland is of walnut size in adult males.

Prostate gland secretes a sticky and milky fluid that comprises 15-30% of the semen, the rest being sperms and seminal vesicle fluid. The prostatic fluid protects the sperms and prolongs the lifespan of sperm when present in female vagina.

There are several ways in which prostate surgery can be performed. When whole prostate is removed, the procedure is called radical prostatectomy.

  • TURP (transurethral resection of prostate): It is the most frequently performed surgical procedure to remove prostate in modern days. An instrument similar to a laparoscope is inserted through the urethra to cut the prostate into pieces and remove it which is blocking the urine flow. The procedure is performed for benign prostate enlargement.
  • Suprapubic prostatectomy: An incision is made in the abdomen and prostate is removed. This is more common when the prostate is extremely enlarged or in prostate cancer.
  • Perineal prostatectomy: It is not a very popular method for prostate removal.

Recovery Time For Prostatectomy

In most of the cases, the recovery is uneventful; there are fewer complications due to the use of modern techniques and instruments.

  • It will depend on the surgical procedure that has been performed on the person.
  • In case of TURP the hospital stay is generally 1 to 2 days. After the surgery, a catheter is used to remove the blood and clots, when the urine color becomes clear white, the doctor will remove the catheter and give the permission to go home. ┬áIt may take another seven to fifteen days for complete recovery at home. Weight lifting and other strenuous exercise should not be performed for 3 to 6 months. Constipation and sex should be avoided for first two months.
  • In case of Suprapubic prostatectomy, the recovery time is more as a large incision is made on the abdomen which takes more healing time in hospital.

Side Effects Of Prostate Removal Surgery

Prostate removal surgery is very effective in treating prostate enlargement and prostate cancer. However as with any surgical procedure, it carries certain risk and side effects.

  • Erection problems after the surgery.
  • Ejaculation problem after surgery.
  • Loss of sperm fertility.
  • Inability to control urine flow.
  • Severe bleeding during the time of surgery and may need blood transfusion.
  • Nausea, vomiting and high blood pressure for the first six hours after the surgery.
  • Stricture in the urethra.
  • Damage to other organs while performing surgery.
  • Reaction to medicines.
  • Blood clots in the deep vein that can go into the lungs.
  • Infection in the bladder and kidney after the operation.