Prostate Cancer After Surgery – What to Expect After a Radical Prostatectomy

June 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

One of the reasons why there are so many American men opting for active surveillance in prostate cancer treatment is because they have heard many reports and they are not in a hurry to deal with life after surgery to remove their prostate. Sure they are aware that prostatectomy is one of the best known cures for prostate cancer, which is a disease that is not too often considered to be curable ? one that kills no fewer than twenty thousand men in the United State every year ? but they have good reason to fear.

Prostate cancer, on its own, has such debilitating symptoms like urinary pains and dysfunction, extensive bone pains and incontinence, and even impotence and paralysis in its extremes, but so do most of its treatments. And prostatectomy is a particular culprit in that it often causes said impotence and incontinence, not to mention the risk of demise and the many discomforts that result from the process. It certainly is not an easy decision to make. But make it you must so that you can move on from your prostate cancer diagnosis.

If you have opted for prostate cancer surgery, you definitely will need to be aware of the fact that you most definitely will suffer from erectile dysfunction for a while, as well as urinary incontinence (not having control over your urination and your defecation). However the truth is that these side effects sometimes fade off to near nothingness. The incontinence for once has been reported to completely vanish in most patients, while others say that they get as much as 99% of their continence back within a month to a year after the surgical procedure.

It is a bit more complicated when it comes to impotence because men are particularly sensitive to that. However, potency tends to take longer to return and most men say they are still not able to appropriately achieve an erection without assistance as long as three to four years after surgery. In some men, they do get back their potency but it is unable to last long enough for intercourse. To that end, there are medical and physical solutions that help. Viagra pills tend to restore some degree of potency, vacuum pumps also work to a certain extent, and penile injections tend to do the rest.

It is really different strokes for different folks, but for the most part, sex after surgery is really never the same, especially since the prostate that produces part of the semen fluid has been removed. Other consequences that you may need to prepare for are bloated stomach (although only for a few days), general weakness, surgical stitches and scars, and the possibility that some cancer cells were left behind (although that rarely happens ? certainly not if you are with a top rated surgeon).

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