Prostate Cancer Surgery Options Explained
Retropubic prostatectomy: During this procedure, the surgeon makes an incision through the lower abdomen that is about 3 to 4 inches in length. The surgeon can remove the prostate, surrounding tissue and pelvic lymph nodes (if necessary).
Perineal prostatectomy: During this procedure, the surgeon removes the prostate through an incision in the skin between the scrotum and the anus. In general, the perineal surgery is a little easier on the patient, but it may be somewhat inefficient if the cancer is serious and the lymph nodes need to be examined before the prostate is removed.
Laparoscopic prostatectomy is a type of ‘minimally-invasive’ surgery that uses several small incisions rather than one larger incision to remove the prostate. Through the small incisions surgical instruments, including a camera, are inserted. The camera allows the surgeon to view inside the abdomen and perform the surgery. Because the surgery uses smaller incisions, the patient may experience less pain and scarring and a faster recovery than with the retropubic approach. This procedure is technically demanding and requires a surgeon with special training to perform the operation successfully.
Robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy is similar to laparoscopic prostatectomy but rather than the surgeon directly holding the instruments, a robot serves as an interface between the surgeon and the instruments. Advantages for the patient are similar to laparoscopic surgery.