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Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center

1325 S Cliff Avenue
P.O. Box 5045
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5045
605-322-8000

Prostate Surgery

A simple prostatectomy is a procedure which removes the inside part of the prostate gland through a surgical cut in your lower belly, to treat an enlarged prostate. A simple prostatectomy is for those patients who have an enlarged prostate with related urinary symptoms.

Procedure Overview

Description of procedure

The surgery will take approximately 2 to 4 hours. You will be given general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia (sedated, awake, pain-free). The surgeon will make a surgical incision in your lower belly, from below the belly button to just near the penis. This exposes the prostate and the bladder. Next, a cut is made in the prostate gland and the inner portion is removed. The outer part is left behind. After removing part of your prostate, the surgeon will stitch the incision closed. A drain may be left in your belly to help eradicate extra fluids after the procedure.

Before Surgery

    Before the procedure

    When preparing to have a procedure performed under anesthesia, you will need to begin fasting the night prior to your procedure. Your surgeon also may want some pre-operative testing done, which may include; blood word, chest x-ray, EKG, discontinuation of medications, and clearance for other medical reasons.

    After Surgery

    After the procedure

    Patients are advised to drink plenty of fluids to help rid the bladder and urine of blood. If it’s not flushed out, the blood can form clots and block the flow of urine. Men should also avoid lifting heavy objects for 4-6 weeks. The lifting could strain the incision or cause bleeding around the prostate. Men who have a catheter through the skin of the lower abdomen will need to have it removed by a doctor in 1 to 2 weeks.

    Potential risks & complications

    Risks for any surgery include:

    • Blood clots in the legs that may travel to the lungs
    • Blood loss
    • Breathing problems
    • Heart attack or stroke during surgery
    • Infection, including in the surgical wound, lungs (pneumonia), or bladder or kidney
    • Reactions to medications

    Other risks are:

    • Damage to internal organs and structures
    • Erection problems
    • Loss of sperm fertility (infertility)
    • Passing semen back up into the bladder instead of out through the urethra
    • Problems with bowel movement control
    • Problems with urine control
    • Urethral stricture (tightening of the urinary outlet from scar tissue)

      View Animation

      da Vinci® Prostatectomy

      The surgery information on this page is intended as an informational resource only. Each patient and surgical situation is different. Patients should discuss details of a surgery, recovery and pain management with their doctor(s).

      The information provided above should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.

      The procedure text and imagery on this page are part of our illustrated health encyclopedia provided by A.D.A.M. You can view the full article in our illustrated  health encyclopedia.

      Any video animations on this page are provided by Krames Staywell/Swarm Interactive.