Prostate Cancer – Surgery
Surgery is one of two main treatments for early-stage prostate cancer. Radiation is the other. Surgery may be done to remove the prostate and its cancer. It may done to remove and test lymph nodes in the area to see whether the cancer has spread. It also may be done to fix urinary problems that are caused by a tumor pressing on the urethra.
The stage of your prostate cancer along with your age and general health will affect the type of surgery you choose.
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Radical prostatectomy is an operation to remove the entire prostate and any nearby tissue that may contain cancer. It can be done as open surgery through an incision (cut) in the belly, or as laparoscopic surgery through several very small incisions in the belly. Laparoscopic surgery is done with a tiny camera and special instruments to remove the prostate. Sometimes lymph nodes in the area also are removed so that they can be checked for signs of cancer. This is called a lymph node biopsy
Nerve-sparing surgery helps preserve the nerves that are along the side of the prostate and that are needed for an erection. This is only done when there is little chance of leaving cancer cells behind. If you already have sexual function issues, nerve-sparing surgery may not be the best choice for you.
Laparoscopic surgery is most often done by hand. A few doctors now do this surgery by guiding robotic arms that hold the surgery tools. This is called robot-assisted prostatectomy.
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