What can you expect after prostate removal?


Quick Answer

A short-term side effect of prostrate removal is urinary incontinence, according to the American Cancer Society. Impotence is largely dependant on whether or not nerve bundles are removed. Additionally, men may experience changes in orgasm or length of the penis, lymphedema, fertility issues, and hernia in the groin region.

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Full Answer

Urinary incontinence falls into three categories: stress incontinence, overflow incontinence and urge incontinence, according to the American Cancer Society. Stress incontinence is most common after prostrate removal, but it often improves in the weeks and months following surgery. Overflow incontinence is caused by scarring and creates issues emptying the bladder. Urge incontinence occurs with heightened sensitivity.

Erectile dysfunction after prostrate removal is still possible in many cases, reports the American Cancer Society. To preserve sexual function, surgeons spare the nerve bundles whenever possible. Men who do not have cancer but have the prostrate removed due to enlargement may return to normal activities in a matter of weeks. Age and overall health as well as the ability to have an erection before surgery also affect results after surgery.

Changes in orgasm may include less intense or painful orgasm, according to the American Cancer Society. A decrease in penile length is very slight and does not occur in all prostrate surgeries. Lymphedema is rare, but occurs when lymph nodes are removed due to cancer. Fertility issues occur during a radical prostatectomy, and the risk of developing a hernia in the future increases.

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