A simple prostatectomy is a surgical procedure done to remove part or all of the prostate gland. The prostate is a gland that goes around the neck of the bladder and the urethra in a male. It secretes a fluid that forms part of the semen. A simple prostatectomy is most commonly performed to treat a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is an enlarged prostate gland.
Men who are suffering blocked urine flow because of BPH may be considered for this surgery. Usually, it is done on men who cannot be successfully treated with medications. The choice of procedure depends on the size of the enlarged prostate. If the gland is less than 100 grams, a minimally invasive procedure such as a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) may be used.
If the prostate is larger than 100 grams, a simple prostatectomy is often chosen. A simple prostatectomy may also be selected if the man has bladder diseases that can be corrected at the same time. These conditions can include abnormal outpouchings of the bladder, called diverticuli, or large stones in the bladder.
A simple prostatectomy may also be chosen over a TURP if the man has other problems, such as trouble moving his hips, which make him unable to be positioned properly for a TURP surgery.
The operation is done in the hospital under regional anesthesia or general anesthesia. Regional anesthesia means the man will be numb from the waist down and will usually be given medications to make him drowsy. General anesthesia means the man is put completely to sleep, feels no pain, and has no awareness of the procedure.
To begin the surgery, the surgeon makes a cut in the lower portion of the belly. This exposes the prostate and the bladder. Next, a cut is made in the prostate gland and the inner portion is removed. Sutures and special tools are used to stop bleeding. A drainage tube, called a urinary catheter, is inserted through the penis and into the bladder.
Finally, the prostate and bladder, if it has been opened, are stitched closed. If surgery has been performed on the bladder as well, another catheter may be inserted that exits through the skin of the lower abdomen. This is known as a suprapubic catheter.