The prostate is a chestnut-sized gland that is part of the male reproductive system. Its function is to produce a fluid that is part of male ejaculate or semen. It is located below the bladder neck and surrounds the urethra (tube the urine passes through).
Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form inside the prostate. When prostate cancer is detected early, prostatectomy – surgical removal of the prostate gland- offers a potential cure.
A prostatectomy is the surgical removal of the prostate gland. The seminal vesicles and the vas deferens (tubes) are also removed. The latest da Vinci Xi robot is used to perform the operation with the aid of a robot through keyhole ports. The surgeon operates through a few small incisions in the abdomen by using long instruments and a tiny camera.
The theoretical Benefits of Da Vinci Surgery include:
Some tumours can be removed by using a nerve sparing technique. This is performed carefully by cutting around the prostate and leaving as much nerves intact as possible. These nerves control male erectile function and aid with urinary continence. The amount of tissue removed will depend on the degree of cancer spread. This surgery benefits cancer that is likely contained within the prostate but carries the risk of leaving cancer behind if it is more advanced. Your surgeon will discuss the most appropriate approach.
Scrotal Swelling is common for up to a week following surgery. Supportive net pants can be provided by your nurse if needed for extra support. Avoid tight briefs as this may pull on the catheter.
Bladder Spasms are a cramping feeling that can last for several days or weeks before urethral catheter is removed. Bladder spasms are a natural response of the bladder healing and the catheter. These can be felt as urgency to urinate or pelvic pain. In severe circumstances, medications can be prescribed to alleviate the pain. Always check that there is free drainage of urine into the bag, as the bladder pain without urine drainage may indicate a problem such as a catheter blockage.
Activity Restrictions: It is expected that you will resume gentle activities around your home after you have been discharged from hospital. Gradually, increase the amount of walking you do each day, as tolerated. Do not walk to the point of exhaustion and avoid heavy lifting. We recommend that you wear your anti-embolic stockings until you are as active as you were before surgery.
A nurse will provide a follow-up call to you after the operation. It is a good idea to write down anything you want to ask and have it ready.