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A radical retropubic prostatectomy is surgery to remove the prostate gland. Some of the tissue around the gland is also removed. It is done to treat prostate cancer that has not spread out of the prostate. The doctor will make a 7 to 10 centimetre cut (incision) in your lower belly. The cut is between the navel and the pubic bone.
You will probably stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days after surgery. Most men can go back to work or their usual activities 3 to 5 weeks after surgery. But it can take 6 to 8 weeks to fully recover.
After surgery, your body will need time to heal. It may take several weeks or more for you to regain control of your urine. And it may take 6 months or more for you to be able to have erections again. But with time, most men regain urine control and much of their previous sexual function. If not, medicines or other treatments may help.
After your surgery, you won't be able to ejaculate sperm. If you want to be able to father children after your surgery, talk to your doctor about your options. You may be able to save your sperm before the surgery.
When you find out that you have cancer, you may feel many emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. You also can do things at home to help you feel better while you go through treatment. Your doctor can guide you to many local resources for support and more information. Call the Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) or visit its website at www.cancer.ca for more information.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your surgery.
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Current as of: August 21, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
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