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In this video, leading urologist Mr Christopher Eden discusses the advantages and effects of treating prostate cancer with surgery.
Prostate cancer surgery can fall into two categories:
With open surgery for prostate cancer, an incision is made either in the lower part of the abdomen or between the scrotum and the back passage1. Open prostatectomies, also called radical prostatectomies, are most often performed on localised prostate cancers, where the cancer is still contained within the prostate and on men under the age of 701. The aim of open surgery is to remove all of the cancer cells so that the patient requires no further treatment beyond surgery1.
Keyhole surgery to treat prostate cancer requires several 1cm cuts in the abdomen. Known as a laparoscopic prostatectomy, a surgeon is able to remove the prostate using fibre optic tools and a microscopic video camera to cut away the prostate without the need for an open incision.
Another form of keyhole surgery is robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery. Similar to laparoscopic surgery, robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery performs a prostatectomy through keyhole surgery; however robotic arms are used to move the instruments, providing a greater level of precision1. Robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgeries are not widely used in the UK to treat prostate cancer yet, due to a limited number of machines and trained surgeons able to perform the surgeries1.
Laparoscopic prostatectomies have the advantage of less discomfort, less blood loss and a shorter recovery time than open prostatectomies.
There are many factors that will dictate which type of surgery a urologist and surgeon will recommend for a patient. The patient’s age, health and type of cancer will all play a part in the decision. Personal circumstances of the patient will also be taken into account. For instance, whether a man still wishes to father children will be factored into the surgical decision as different surgical techniques carry varying risks of retrograde ejaculation, where the sperm is not ejaculated from the penis but goes backwards into the bladder.
Mr Christopher Eden
1. Macmillan Cancer Support – Prostate cancer surgery. Date last updated: 01.02.2010. Website:
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