Prostatectomy

(Prostate Gland Removal)

Click here to view an animated version of this procedure.

Definition

A prostatectomy is a surgery to remove the prostate gland. The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It makes and stores the milky fluid that forms part of semen. The gland sits below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The urethra (the tube that flows urine out of the body) runs through the protate gland.The procedure may be:
  • Simple prostatectomy—removal of part of prostate
  • Radical prostatectomy—removal of entire prostate and some surrounding tissue
Anatomy of the Prostate
Anatomy of the Prostate Gland
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Reasons for Procedure

A simple prostatectomy may be done to remove an enlarged prostate that is non-cancerous. A common cause of this type of growth is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It can interfere with the flow of urine out of the body. The surgery is done to allow urine to flow through again. A radical prostatectomy may be done to remove a prostate gland containing cancer.

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Inability to control urinary stream—incontinence
  • Inability to get an erection (impotence) and other sexual difficulties
  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs
  • Sterility
  • Injury to the rectum or other nearby structures
  • Additional surgery to repair a hernia of the groin
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

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