Prostate Cancer Surgery

Prostate cancer surgery may be recommended to treat prostate cancer that has not spread to other areas of the body. During a prostatectomy, a surgeon removes the prostate gland and some surrounding tissues and lymph nodes. The main goal of surgery is to cure cancer and prevent it from returning by removing all of the cancer cells.

Prostatectomy

A prostatectomy may be performed as an open incision or minimally invasive procedure. Procedure steps include:

  1. Anesthesia. General, spinal, or epidural anesthesia may be used based on the surgeon’s recommendation and the patient’s preference. IV pain medications and a sedative are given to make sure the patient is relaxed, comfortable, and can feel no pain.
  1. Open incision. If it is an open incision procedure, an incision is made along the abdomen, or in some cases the small space between the rectum and scrotum. Nearby tissues are gently retracted so the surgeon can see and remove the prostate gland.
  1. Minimally invasive. If it is a minimally invasive procedure, very tiny incisions are made around the abdomen. The surgeon uses small instruments and video imaging to visualize and remove the prostate gland. Sometimes, a minimally invasive procedure may be performed using instruments that the doctor robotically controls.
  1. Incision closure. A urinary catheter is placed in the bladder. Incisions are carefully closed and sterilely dressed.

The patient is brought to the recovery room where they gradually wake up and become alert. Pain medications are given as needed. Antibiotics may be given to reduce the risk of infection. The procedure takes 90 minutes to 2 or more hours. The patient stays in the hospital for 1-3 days before being sent home. The urinary bladder is usually removed 10-14 days after surgery.

Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)

If cancer cannot be completely removed by a prostatectomy, a cancer specialist may recommend a TURP instead. This procedure is usually performed to ease urinary symptoms associated with prostate cancer. During the procedure, the surgeon inserts a resectoscope, a combined visual and surgical instrument, into the tip of the penis and the urethra. The surgeon trims excess and inflamed prostate gland tissues that surround the urethra and block urine flow.

A 1-2 day hospital stay is usually necessary after the procedure. A urinary catheter is placed in the bladder during the hospital stay. Symptom relief occurs quickly after the procedure, sometimes after just a few days.

Advanced Prostate Cancer Care

At RWJBarnabas Health, our multidisciplinary team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, urologic oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, nurses, nurse navigators, and social workers work together to provide patients with the most advanced prostate cancer treatment options, including prostate cancer surgery. Through our partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, patients have access to complex surgical techniques, including minimally invasive and robotic prostatectomies. Please contact us if you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and want to know all of your treatment options.

To contact one of New Jersey’s best prostate cancer specialists call
844-CANCERNJ or 844-226-2376.




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