Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Font Size

Prostate Cancer: Laparoscopic Prostate Surgery

Laparoscopic Surgery

The word laparoscopy means to look inside the abdomen with a special camera or scope. Surgery performed with the aid of these cameras is known as keyhole, porthole, or minimally invasive surgery.

Traditional surgery requires a long incision (cut) down the center of the abdomen and a lengthy recovery period. Laparoscopic surgery eliminates the need for this large incision. As a result, you may have less pain and scarring after surgery, faster recovery, and less risk of infection.

Recommended Related to Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer: Personal Stories

Incontinence and impotence: An expert answers the questions of two men coping with these side effects of prostate cancer treatment. Is your answer here? Sex After Prostate Cancer: Two Men's Questions  

Read the Prostate Cancer: Personal Stories article > >

Laparoscopy for prostate removal looks promising. Men who undergo this technique have less blood loss, less need for pain medication, shorter hospital stays, quicker return to regular meals and activities, early removal of urethral catheters (tubes inserted through the penis to drain urine from the bladder), and a quicker recovery.

Laparoscopy appears to treat the prostate cancer as effectively as surgeries done with a large incision.

What Are the Advantages of Laparoscopy?

As is the case with other minimally invasive procedures, laparoscopic prostate removal has significant advantages over traditional surgery:

  • Laparoscopy can shorten your hospital stay to one or two days. About 50% of men are discharged one day after surgery. (The length of stay depends on how quickly you recover and the extent of the surgery.)
  • There is much less bleeding during the operation.
  • You are less likely to need prescription painkillers after you leave the hospital. Patients often need nothing more than Tylenol.
  • At your follow-up appointment one week after surgery, the tube, or catheter, draining your bladder will be removed if there are no signs of other problems. Occasionally, the catheter remains in place for another week, as with conventional surgery.
  • About 90% of patients can return to work or resume full activity in only two to three weeks.

Am I Eligible For This Surgery?

You are eligible if you have prostate cancer that has not spread outside the prostate and is not very aggressive, as well as a PSA test less than 10. You are not eligible if you have had previous open or laparoscopic pelvic surgery, even for another reason. You are also not eligible if you have a history of hormone treatment (androgen deprivation therapy), which reduces the size of the prostate tumor.

What Are The Side Effects?

Medical research so far shows that symptoms of incontinence and impotence are similar for both minimally invasive surgery and traditional surgery. Men usually return to normal urinary function within three months.

Because this technique is nerve-sparing, a man's postoperative sexual potency rate should be comparable to that of traditional surgery. However, laparoscopic surgery has not been in use long enough to truly assess whether it leads to higher rates of potency. But early results are promising.

WebMD Medical Reference

Today on WebMD

Prostate Cancer Overview
SLIDESHOW
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
 
woman speaking with doctor
VIDEO
Prostate Nerve Transplant
VIDEO
 
cancer fighting foods
SLIDESHOW
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
FEATURE
 
Prostate Enlarged
VIDEO
Picture Of The Prostate
ANATOMY
 
Prostate Cancer Quiz
QUIZ
screening tests for men
SLIDESHOW
 
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
VIDEO
Vitamin D
SLIDESHOW