Prostate surgery may be recommended for an enlarged prostate, chronic prostatitis (inflamed prostate) and prostate cancer. The type of surgery involved depends upon which type of prostate problem is being treated and the size of the prostrate. Open surgery with complete removal of the prostate is usually performed when prostate cancer is diagnosed. Laparoscopic, laser, robotic and transurethral resection surgeries may also be performed to remove part of or the entire prostate. Some after effects of prostate surgery may include incontinence, erectile dysfunction and the inability to produce semen.
Temporary Post Operative Effects
Recovery from prostate surgery involves the risk of blood in urine, painful urination and infection. Urinary tract or incision infections are uncommon and treatable with antibiotics. Painful urination and blood in the urine are more common side effects of prostate surgery and usually clear up within a few weeks of surgery. Many prostate surgery patients will have a catheter from several days to a couple of weeks after surgery and this may exacerbate the pain and irritation.
Temporary erection problems are common after prostate surgery. Most men regain full or partial sexual function within a year of prostate surgery. But, if nerve damage is present or does not improve, impotence may be permanent. Therapy, medication, impotence devices or implants may be used decrease erection problems in men after prostate surgery.
Temporary incontinence is a common after effect of prostate surgery. The degree of incontinence varies from person to person and the problem usually resolves within a few months to a year after surgery. Incontinence and bladder symptoms may include the urgent need to urinate, inability to fully empty the bladder resulting in overfill or involuntary urination after sneezing, coughing or physical exertion. In some cases, particularly with prolonged catheter use, narrowing of the urethra (urethral stricture) may occur. Urethral stricture is usually cured by dilating the urethra, though surgical correction may be required when large amounts of scar tissue cause the problem.
Individuals who undergo a complete or radical prostate removal procedure lose the ability to produce semen. Men who desire to have children in the future are often encouraged to have their sperm preserved or "banked" prior to prostate removal surgery. Prostate surgeries that don't involve complete removal of the prostate may still result in reduced sperm production.
Less invasive prostate surgeries that involve partial prostate removal may result in retrograde ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation means that semen is redirected into the bladder upon ejaculation. The condition is not harmful, but it often results in infertility. Retrograde ejaculation caused by prostate surgery is untreatable.