Risks Of Prostate Cancer Surgery
If your doctor has recommended surgical treatment for your prostate cancer, you probably want to know more about the risks of prostate cancer surgery. Radical prostatectomy, the removal of the prostate gland and the tissue around it, is the most common surgery to treat prostate cancer. However, there are also nonsurgical methods to treat prostate cancer, such as radiation. The method your doctor chooses will depend on your age, the severity of your cancer, and other factors. There are several types of radical prostatectomy. All surgery carries some risk. Some of the risks associated with surgery in general, especially the use of anesthesia, include:
- Blood clots
- Breathing problems
- Blood loss. Before the surgery, you may want to save about 2 units of blood in case you need a transfusion.
- Heart attack or stroke during surgery
- Reaction to medications used during surgery
Some of the risks associated specifically with prostate cancer surgery include:
- Urinary incontinence (difficulty controlling urine) or bowel incontinence (difficulty controlling bowel movements). Urinary incontinence affects up to 35 percent of men who have this surgery
- Difficulty having an erection (impotence). This can be avoided if your surgeon is able to avoid cutting the nerves during surgery.
- Injury to the rectum
- Development of scar tissue around the urethra
If you are concerned about the risks of prostate cancer surgery, talk with your doctor. He or she can help ease your fears and discuss ways to reduce these risks. Your doctor can also discuss alternative options for the treatment of prostate cancer.