A radical prostatectomy is an operation to remove the Reference prostate gland Opens New Window and some of the tissue around it. It is done to remove Reference prostate cancer Opens New Window. This operation may be done by open surgery. Or it may be done by Reference laparoscopic Opens New Window surgery through small incisions.
Laparoscopic surgery may be done by hand. But some doctors now do it by guiding robotic arms that hold the surgery tools. This is called robot-assisted prostatectomy.
In open surgery, the surgeon makes an incision to reach the prostate gland. Depending on the case, the incision is made either in the lower belly or in the perineum between the anus and the scrotum.
When the incision is made in the lower belly, it is called the retropubic approach. The surgeon may also remove Reference lymph nodes Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window in the area so that they can be tested for cancer.
When the incision is made in the perineum, it is called the perineal approach. The recovery time after this surgery may be shorter than with the retropubic approach. If the surgeon wants to remove lymph nodes for testing, he or she must make a separate incision. If the lymph nodes are believed to be free of cancer based on the Reference grade of the cancer and results of the Reference PSA test, the surgeon may not remove lymph nodes.
For laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes several small incisions in the belly. A lighted viewing instrument called a laparoscope is inserted into one of the incisions. The surgeon uses special instruments to reach and remove the prostate through the other incisions.
Robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is surgery done through small incisions in the belly with robotic arms that translate the surgeon's hand motions into finer and more precise action. This surgery requires specially trained doctors.
The main goal of either open or laparoscopic surgery is to remove all the cancer. Sometimes that means removing the prostate and the tissues around it, including a set of nerves to the penis that affect the man's ability to have an erection. Some tumors can be removed using a nerve-sparing technique. This means carefully cutting around those nerves to leave them intact. Nerve-sparing surgery sometimes preserves the man's ability to have an erection.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: September 12, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology