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 incidence rate of prostate cancer is concerned, it is one of the leading causes of cancer death in men. If it is diagnosed in the early stages or before the tumor has spread to other tissues, the surgical procedure is the last option for the 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 must be healthy and below 70 years of age. However, the type of surgery depends on the stage of prostate cancer, along with the patient’s body type, age and general health. Some of the surgical options for the treatment of prostate cancer include cryosurgery, laparoscopic robotic surgery, laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, retropubic surgery, perineal surgery, and transurethral resection of the prostate (TUR). We will discuss shortly about the recovery from prostate cancer surgery.
Recovery after prostate cancer surgery
Surgery for prostate cancer requires hospitalization for a certain period. And the length of hospital stay may vary depending on the type of surgery performed and the general health of the candidate who has undergone the procedure. In general, patients should remain in the hospital for about 2 – 5 days after the operation. As a matter of fact, candidates who have participated in laparoscopic surgery and minimal invasive techniques alike usually recover faster than others. Of all the techniques, recovery is faster with robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy.
During the recovery period, a catheter is used for holding urine. Based on the patient’s condition, the catheter can be retained for approximately 1-3 weeks or until the urinary tract heals properly. You can return to normal work after the catheter is removed. Dressings at surgery sites are changed regularly to support the healing process, or precisely, to avoid complications of postoperative infection. For the management of pain and discomfort after surgery, the doctor may prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers or appropriate medications.
As for recovery, swelling at the site of the incision is usually reduced within a few weeks of a period of a few months. By this time, the patient’s urine control also gradually improves. Slow-moving activities are generally suggested to increase blood circulation and reduce blood clots in the legs. The patient is allowed to perform walking exercises with climbing stairs during the period of recovery from prostate cancer. However, they should refrain from heavy lifting and other rigorous exercises for at least 2 – 6 months.
In the period of prostate cancer after surgery, the candidate is expected to follow a well planned diet as recommended by the doctor in question. Drinking large amounts of water and fruit juices during the recovery period is recommended. If you do, it helps promote free urine flow and minimize urination problems. The patient can change to the regular diet slowly. Making healthy lifestyle changes as suggestions by the doctor in question helps a rapid recovery from surgery and prevents the recurring growth of tumor cells.
Speaking about the complications of prostate cancer surgery, frequent health problems are incontinence (or inability to control the passage of urine), erectile dysfunction and, sometimes, impotence. Candidates are expected to do Kegel exercises to overcome incontinence. In most cases of prostate cancer operation, these types of rectal and urinary problems improve over time (in about 3 months to a year). While serious and long-term complications in approximately 5 percent of cases. It is indicated that the risk of postoperative complications is high for open surgeries.
Although many of the patients are concerned about the side effects of prostate cancer treatment, it was found that the operation performed on patients under 65 years of age is effective in reducing deaths related to prostate cancer by up to 50 percent and more. A regular exam in the years after prostate cancer surgery is done to check the chances of tumor growth.