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Prostate Cancer Surgery: Types, Advantages & Disadvantages

Surgery is a common treatment option for alleviating prostate cancer if it has not spread beyond the prostate gland. The main type of surgery for curing prostate cancer is radical prostatectomy.

In this prostate cancer surgery, the surgeon removes the whole prostate gland and some tissues around it, along with seminal vesicles. This treatment is recommended to treat only the early stages of prostate cancer. Besides that, laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) and TURP operation are other surgical procedures to cure this cancer; however, this is used only to eradicate the symptoms associated with this disease.

Continue reading how to treat prostate cancer and its symptoms can be alleviated by different surgical procedures.

Types of Surgery to Treat Prostate Cancer

  1. Radical Prostatectomy

A radical prostatectomy is a localized surgical treatment of prostate cancer. But this treatment is not possible if the cancer is spread outside the prostate gland. During this surgical process, the entire prostate gland is removed and the seminal vesicles are taken out, along with neighbouring lymph nodes, if there is a risk of spreading the diseased to them.

Advantages: It removes the prostate gland if the cancer is contained within the gland.

Disadvantages: The prostate gland helps in making semen. By removing the prostate gland, men are unable to ejaculate semen.

  • After surgery, men also notice “dry orgasms” that are due to no ejaculation.
  • Men planning to undergo radical prostatectomy may consider storing their sperm for future fertility treatment.


The risks associated with this treatment are as follows:

  • Bleeding,
  • Blood clots,
  • Infection and
  • Injury to nearby organs like nerves and bowel

Side effects

  • The most common side effect of this surgical procedure is urinary incontinence, or leaking urine and problem in getting or keeping an erection. It is also called erectile dysfunction.
  • After surgery, the patient may not be able to control their bladder and may experience stress incontinence that means leaking urine while sneezing, coughing or during exercise. They may even need to use absorbent pants or pads to improve the condition with time.
  1. Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy:

The laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) is a prostate cancer treatment in which a surgeon inserts a special instrument with a camera through five to six incisions on the abdomen to remove the prostate gland. The video camera on the instrument lets the surgeon see the inside body parts.

Advantages: Laparoscopic prostatectomy has certain advantages over radical prostatectomy. Some of these pros include shorter hospital stay, less blood loss and faster recovery time.

When done by an experienced surgeon, LRP seems to be as good as the radical prostatectomy.

Disadvantages or side effects: After surgery, the patients are likely to experience erection problems, trouble holding urine (incontinence) and other side effects associated with radical prostatectomy. However, these side effects are likely to improve over time. But the recovery of urinary bladder control may get delayed with this surgical approach.

  1. TURP prostate cancer surgery

A TURP prostate cancer surgery is not for curing cancer. It is a surgery used for treating the symptoms associated with prostate cancer and prostate cancer treatment. Some of the common prostate cancer symptoms include difficulty while passing urine and so on. It happens when the prostate gland is enlarged and touches the urethra, causing the urinary passage to narrow down.

This procedure is carried out as per general anaesthesia and also involves surgeon passing a very thin metal tube through the penis to the urethra. The instrument is integrated with a video camera to see the inside parts of the gland.

After that, a small wire loop is put through this tube and used for removing some parts of prostrate tissue via heat. During this operation process, fluid is passed to the bladder for flushing out the removed tissues.

Banking sperm is recommended for the patients for future fertility.

Possible side effects of TURP:

  • Stress incontinence affects around 2% of patients
  • Problems urinating but it improves over time
  • Urine infection
  • Blood in urine
  • Slow urine flow due to scarred tissue after surgery (It affects around 4% of patients)
  • Erectile dysfunction affects up to 7% of patients

Around 65% of men are likely to suffer from retrograde ejaculation. It means semen will be passed into the urinary bladder at the time of orgasm rather than ejaculation.

Men with retrograde orgasm are likely to experience orgasm differently. They may also not be able to father children after sex. So, banking sperm is a recommended treatment option for this TURP side effect.

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