What Is Prostatectomy, Types, Preparation, Results

What is prostatectomy?

A prostatectomy is a surgical procedure in which the prostate gland is partially or completely removed. The prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland located below the bladder in men. It surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. The main purposes of the prostate are to produce seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.

Types of prostatectomy

There are different types of prostatectomy procedures, and they can be broadly classified into three main categories:

Radical Prostatectomy:

This involves the removal of the entire prostate gland along with surrounding tissues, including seminal vesicles. It is often performed for prostate cancer.

Simple or Partial Prostatectomy:

This involves removing only a part of the prostate, typically the portion that is causing urinary obstruction. It is more commonly performed for benign conditions like BPH.

Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP):

This is a less invasive procedure where the surgeon removes the inner part of the prostate through the urethra using a special instrument. TURP is often used for treating BPH.

Prostatectomy can be performed through various approaches, including open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and robotic-assisted surgery. The choice of approach depends on factors such as the patient’s overall health, the size of the prostate, and the underlying condition being treated.

As with any surgical procedure, prostatectomy carries risks and potential side effects, and the decision to undergo this surgery should be made after careful consideration and discussion with a healthcare provider.


Why is a prostatectomy done?

There are several reasons why a prostatectomy may be performed, including:

Prostate Cancer: Prostatectomy is a common treatment for prostate cancer. Depending on the extent and aggressiveness of the cancer, the entire prostate gland or only the cancerous part may be removed.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): In cases where the prostate gland becomes enlarged and causes urinary problems, a prostatectomy may be recommended to relieve symptoms.

Chronic Prostatitis: In some cases of chronic inflammation of the prostate, surgery may be considered if other treatments are ineffective.

Preparation for prostatectomy

Preparation for a prostatectomy involves several steps to ensure that the patient is in the best possible condition for the surgery and subsequent recovery. Some general guidelines for preparing for a prostatectomy:

Medical evaluation:

Your healthcare provider will conduct a thorough medical evaluation to assess your overall health and identify any pre-existing conditions that may impact the surgery or recovery. You may undergo blood tests, imaging studies, and other diagnostic tests to provide the surgical team with essential information.

Discussion with the surgeon:

Talk to your surgeon about the details of the procedure, including the specific type of prostatectomy planned, the expected outcomes, potential risks, and the recovery process.

Address any questions or concerns you may have about the surgery.

Medication review:

Inform your healthcare team about all medications you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and supplements. Your surgeon may instruct you to stop taking certain medications, especially those that can increase the risk of bleeding, such as blood thinners.

Preoperative instructions:

Follow any preoperative instructions provided by your healthcare team. This may include fasting for a certain period before the surgery. If you have specific medical conditions, such as diabetes, your healthcare team will provide guidance on managing these conditions leading up to the surgery.

Lifestyle changes:

If you smoke, consider quitting before the surgery, as smoking can impair healing and increase the risk of complications. Engage in regular physical activity if possible, as being in good physical shape can aid in the recovery process.

Dietary guidelines:

Follow any dietary guidelines provided by your healthcare team. A well-balanced diet can contribute to better overall health and recovery.

Support system:

Arrange for a support system to help you during the recovery period. This may include family members, friends, or caregivers who can assist with daily activities.

Advance care planning:

Discuss advance care planning with your healthcare provider, including any preferences you have regarding postoperative care and potential complications.

Hospital stay planning:

Understand the expected length of hospital stay and make arrangements for transportation to and from the hospital.

It’s essential to communicate openly with your healthcare team and follow their instructions closely to ensure the best possible outcome for the prostatectomy and subsequent recovery. Each patient’s situation may be unique, so the preparation process may be tailored to individual needs and medical history.


Robotic prostatectomy may result in less pain, less blood loss, less tissue trauma, shorter hospital stay, and faster recovery period than traditional prostatectomy. You can usually return to normal activities with some minor limitations about 4 weeks after surgery.

A simple prostatectomy can provide long-term relief from urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate. Although it is the most invasive procedure to treat an enlarged prostate, serious complications are rare. Most men who undergo surgery usually do not require follow-up treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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