Using this guide What's covered
Here you’ll find the answers to many of your questions about prostate removal. Learn how it works, what it may cost, what your recovery may be like, and more.
To see how radical prostatectomy and trans-urethral resections (TURP) are done, view our animations below. For personal insights, see our patient experience videos in which HCF members talk frankly about their preparation, surgery and recovery.
Learn about radical prostatectomy
What is prostate removal?
Prostate removal (prostatectomy) is an operation to remove all or part of the prostate gland. It may also include the removal of the seminal vesicles, surrounding tissues and the nerve bundles on either side of the prostate that are responsible for erections. Seminal vesicles are a pair of glands that are attached to the prostate – they secrete a significant proportion of the fluid that ultimately becomes semen.
The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland that produces and secretes the fluid in semen. It’s located at the base of the urinary bladder and wraps around the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out through the penis.
Why is it done?
Because the prostate gland almost encircles the upper end of the urethra, any enlargement and tumour in the prostate gland can restrict normal flow, causing symptoms such as difficult, painful or frequent urination. The two main reasons for prostatectomy are benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and cancer of the prostate.
BPH is a non-cancerous condition where the prostate grows larger due to benign growth of cells within the prostate gland. It commonly occurs in men over 60, as a result of hormonal changes. The main symptoms are urinary obstruction and inability to empty the bladder completely.
Carcinoma of the prostate is a malignant tumour of the prostate gland. This cancer commonly occurs in men over 50.
Where is it done?
A prostatectomy is done in a hospital. The average length of stay for a TURP is 3-4 days; for a radical prostatectomy it can be 5-10 days.
How long does it take?
It depends on the type of procedure performed.
Who is involved?
- Your urologist
- There may be an assistant surgeon
- Pathologist (for blood tests and/or specimen samples)
Preparing for surgery
Living with prostate cancer
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