The Role of Laparoscopic Prostatectomy in Treating Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is a condition that, when diagnosed, is graded. The grade of a cancerous prostate tumor is reached by assessing size and other characteristics that indicate potential aggressiveness. When a tumor appears to be on the aggressive side, radical prostatectomy may be advisable. This surgical procedure removes the entire prostate gland. In some situations, the early removal of the affected gland may provide an effective cure as well as a reduced risk of recurrence. Laparoscopic prostatectomy is a minimally-invasive technique that offers meaningful benefits.
Before the development of laparoscopic procedures, men needing a prostatectomy underwent traditional open surgery. Open surgeries require a larger incision to accommodate surgical instruments as well as visual access to the surgical site. The extensive nature of open surgery incurs a longer recovery period. Laparoscopic procedures are conducted with an instrument that enables viewing of the surgical area via a small camera on the end of a tube. No large incisions are needed, only a few small incisions through which tiny instruments can be inserted.
Why More Men are Choosing Laparoscopic Prostatectomy
Virtually any patient who has been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer may be a good candidate for prostatectomy. The benefits of this closed procedure versus traditional open surgery include:
- Less trauma to the abdominal wall
- Smaller, more discreet incisions
- Less bleeding during surgery
- Better visual magnification of the surgical site
- Shorter hospital stay than traditional open prostatectomy
- Less need for pain medication after surgery
- Earlier return to normal activities
- Better nerve-sparing capability
What is Laparoscopic Prostatectomy Like?
This minimally-invasive procedure can last between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 hours. Before surgery, general anesthesia is administered. The anesthesiologist monitors vital signs throughout the procedure. Small incisions are made to visualize and access the prostate. The catheter and camera are inserted through one and surgical instruments are inserted through the others. Using these instruments, the surgeon removes the prostate gland as well as the seminal vesicles, two fluid-filled sacs next to the prostate gland. After these structures are removed, the urethra is attached to the bladder neck. Depending on the diagnosis, nearby lymph nodes may be biopsied at the time of surgery.
If you are experiencing symptoms of an enlarged prostate or have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, or if you have a higher risk for either of these conditions, contact our Chattanooga office. We can help you navigate your treatment process. Call (423) 778-5910.