A surgery for prostate cancer is performed after careful examination of the cancer stage, age, body type, and general health of the patient.
Surgery is one of the two most common treatment procedures for prostate cancer, of which the other option is radiation therapy. As far as the occurrence rate of prostate cancer is concerned, it is one of leading causes of cancer deaths in men. If diagnosed in the early stages or before the tumor has spread to other tissues, surgical procedure is the ultimate option for treatment of prostate cancer.
Candidates for Prostate Cancer Surgery
Prostate cancer surgery is performed if the cancer cells are confined to the prostate gland. In addition, an ideal candidate for surgery should be healthy and below 70 years of age. Nevertheless, the type of surgery depends on the prostate cancer stage along with the body type, age, and overall health condition of the patient. Some of the surgical options for the treatment of prostate cancer include cryosurgery, robotic laparoscopic surgery, laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, retropubic surgery, perineal surgery, and transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). Let’s discuss in brief about prostate cancer surgery recovery.
Recovery after Prostate Cancer Surgery
The surgery for prostate cancer requires hospital stay for a particular period. And the duration of hospital stay may vary depending on the type of the performed surgery and the general health of the candidate who has undergone the procedure. In general, patients are required to remain in the hospital for about 2 – 5 days after the operation. As a matter of fact, candidates who have participated in the laparoscopic surgery and alike minimal invasive techniques usually recover faster than others. Of all the techniques, recovery is fastest with the robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy.
During the recuperation period, a catheter is used for holding urine. Based on the patient’s condition, the catheter may be retained for about 1 – 3 weeks or until the urinary tract is healed properly. He can return to normal work after the catheter is removed. Dressings at the surgery sites are changed regularly to fasten healing process, or precisely, to avoid postoperative infection complications. For managing pain and discomfort after the surgery, the doctor may prescribe over-the-counter painkillers or other appropriate medication.
Regarding the recovery, swelling at the incision site usually reduces within a few weeks to a few months period. By this time, the urine control of the patient also improves gradually. Slow movement activities are usually suggested to increase blood circulation and reduce blood clots in the legs. The patient is allowed to perform walking exercise along with stair climbing during the prostate cancer recovery period. However, he should abstain from lifting heavy objects and other rigorous exercises for at least for 2 – 6 months.
In the prostate cancer post surgery period, the candidate is expected to follow a well-planned diet plan as recommended by the concerned physician. Drinking ample amounts of water and fruit juices during the recovery period is recommended. Doing so helps in promoting free urine flow and minimizing urination problems. The patient can switch on to the regular diet slowly. Making healthy lifestyle changes as per the suggestions by the concerned physician helps in quick recovery of surgery and prevents recurrent growth of tumor cells.
Speaking about the complications of prostate cancer surgery, the commonly reported health problems are incontinence (or inability to control passing of urine), erectile dysfunction, and at times, impotence. The candidates are expected to do Kegel exercises to overcome incontinence. In most cases of prostate cancer operation, such rectal and urinary problems improve over time (in about 3 months to a year). While complications are severe and long-term in about 5 percent of the cases. It is stated that the risk of postoperative complications is high for open surgeries.
Though many of the patients are concerned about the prostate cancer treatment side effects, it is found that operation conducted in patients below 65 years is effective for reducing prostate cancer related deaths up to 50 percent and more. For every patient, regular physical examination in the years following the prostate cancer surgery is done to monitor the chances of tumor regrowth.