Radical prostatectomy is major prostate surgery that removes the entire prostate gland plus some surrounding tissue. During the procedure the pelvic lymph nodes may also be sampled for a biopsy. The goal is to remove the cancer entirely and prevent its spread to other parts of the body.
Radical prostatectomy is performed under general or regional anesthesia and the procedure takes from 1.5 to 4 hours to complete. The patient is either unconscious during the prostatectomy or remains awake but numb below the waist.
Depending on the case radical prostatectomy procedure may either involve an incision below the navel, which extends to just above the pubic bone, or a smaller, curved incision made between the anus and the base of the scrotum. The prostate is then removed from underneath the pubic bone. A nerve sparing radical prostatectomy may be employed in an attempt to preserve the person's erectile function.
After removal of the prostate, the urethra is sewn to the neck of the bladder over a urinary catheter. The catheter is a narrow tube that is passed through the urethra into the bladder. Drains are placed around the site and then the incision is closed.
After Radical prostatectomy, the patient is taken to a surgery recovery room. The catheter is removed 2-3 weeks after the procedure, and dressings are kept on the wounds until they have completely dried up.
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