Prostate and Cancer-Part Four
Treatment options (Adapted from the National Library of Medicine)*
Surgery (radical prostatectomy) is considered the gold standard treatment for localized prostate cancer. There are four main types of radical prostatectomy surgery. These procedures take about three to four hours:
Radical retropubic prostatectomy: Your surgeon will make an incision (cut) starting just below your belly button and reaching to your pubic bone. The entire surgery should take 90 minutes to four hours.
Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: The surgeon makes several small cuts instead of one big cut. Long, thin tools are placed inside the cuts. The surgeon puts a thin tube with a video camera (laparoscope) inside one of the cuts. This helps the surgeon see inside your belly during the procedure.
Robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy: Sometimes laparoscopic surgery is done using a robotic system. The surgeon moves the robotic arm while sitting at a computer monitor near the operating table. Not every hospital can do robotic surgery. We are fortunate to have the da Vinci robot available at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Washington. However, just because it is here doesn't mean that every doctor has access to it. If you are considering having the robotic surgery, make certain that your doctor has been one of those thoroughly trained in its use. Only then will you have the best chances of a successful outcome. See also http://www.davinciprostatectomy.com/treatment-options/treatment_comparison.aspx and http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007339.htm for further information.
Radical perineal prostatectomy: Your surgeon makes a cut in the skin between your anus and base of the scrotum (the perineum). The cut is smaller than with the retropubic technique. This makes it harder for the surgeon to spare the nerves around the prostate, or to remove nearby lymph nodes. Perineal surgery usually takes less time than the retropubic way. There is also less blood loss.
Stay strong, and remain passionately committed to your heart's chosen path.
By Danny M. O'Dell, MA. CSCS*D