A prostatectomy is a medical term that defines removal of a portion of or the entire prostate. The prostate is a male gland located directly beneath the bladder, through which the urethra travels. A prostatectomy may be recommended for abnormalities found in a prostate gland, including tumor growth or cancer.
Who Benefits From a Prostatectomy Procedure?
Various prostate surgical removal procedures may benefit individuals diagnosed with chronic benign prostatic hypertrophy, or a prostate enlargement, as well as those who have been diagnosed with Stage I to Stage III cancer. Radical prostatectomies are often recommended for individuals diagnosed with Stage III cancers, though most are recommended to undergo a TURP procedure. Prostatectomy procedures for cancer may be effective in individuals where cancer has not spread, and in some cases, may help slow cancer growth or spread of cancer to other parts of the body. A prostatectomy reduces long-term risks of death from cancer.
Common Prostatectomy Procedures
* Radical retropubic prostatectomy - the prostate is accessed through an incision in the lower abdomen, behind the pubic bone.
* Radical perineal prostatectomy - the prostate is accessed through the perineum, or the area found between the rectum and the scrotum.
* Suprapubic transvesical prostatectomy - the prostate is accessed through an incision made in the bladder. Today, this common treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate, is achieved through TURP procedures.
A radical prostatectomy procedure removes the entire prostate gland, including some tissues that surround it. This procedure is generally performed in treating prostate cancer.
The most common approach to prostatectomy these days also includes robotic-assisted laparoscopic procedures, also known as RALP. In this approach, robotic instruments access the prostate through several very small abdominal incisions. The instruments are controlled by a surgeon and provides a reduced risk of bleeding, pain, risk of infection, and promotes faster healing time and shorter hospital stays.
Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, more commonly known as LRP, is performed through a laparoscope, a minimally invasive and modern technology that utilizes fiber optics technologies.
In most cases, depending on experience, robotic procedures may take between 5 to 8 hours, as compared to the 2 1/2 to 3 hour procedure through techniques involving incisional approaches.
Patients undergoing a prostatectomy may require a 2 to 4 day stay in a hospital and may require a catheter following the procedure for between 1 to 3 weeks.
Cost of prostatectomy procedures will depend on the type of surgical approach. In the United States, a radical prostatectomy may cost as much as $10,000, though cost may vary depending on geographical location. Robotic technologies such as da Vinci may cost up to $24,000. However, medical travelers to India may save up to 50% of costs, paying an average of $4,000 for non- robotic prostate removal, while patients in Turkey may pay approximately $6,000 for the same procedure.
Who Performs Prostatectomy Procedures?
A urologist is a doctor who has specialized in training in branches of surgery to the kidneys, bladder, or urethra, male reproductive organs or pelvic surgery. Choose a surgeon who has undergone basic and comprehensive education in general surgery, who then undergoes additional training in urology, a surgical subspecialty. He or she should be approved to practice in accredited healthcare facilities or hospitals. Specialists should be experienced and knowledgeable regarding specific conditions. Laparoscopic or robotic assisted surgical procedures should be performed by urologists or specialists highly trained and experienced in such procedures.
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