Can You Live Without Your Prostate?
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
The prostate, a doughnut-shaped gland, surrounds the male urethra just below its connection to the bladder. The prostate may be closely connected to major parts of the urinary system, but it is actually a part of the reproductive system. It is connected to the urethra so that during ejaculation it can secrete prostatic fluid into the semen. Prostatic fluid contains nutrients that help the sperm stay alive longer in the vagina and make successful reproduction more likely.
- The prostate, a doughnut-shaped gland, surrounds the male urethra just below its connection to the bladder.
- The prostate may be closely connected to major parts of the urinary system, but it is actually a part of the reproductive system.
A prostatectomy is the removal of all or part of a prostate. The main reason that you might have your prostate removed is because you have contracted prostate cancer, or an uncontrolled growth of cells on the prostate. The removal is to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of your body. You may also have a prostatectomy because your prostate has enlarged through the normal aging process. However, this is far less likely and only done if prostate is putting pressure on the urethra and making it difficult or impossible to urinate.
- A prostatectomy is the removal of all or part of a prostate.
- However, this is far less likely and only done if prostate is putting pressure on the urethra and making it difficult or impossible to urinate.
There are three main types of prostate removal procedures. The most common is called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). A lighted tube is inserted into urethra through the tip of your penis. Using special cutting instruments, the prostate is removed piece by piece. A laser prostatectomy is much less invasive because it uses beams of light to remove the prostate tissue. An open prostatectomy is a surgical procedure in which an incision is made in the perineum or the lower abdomen. The inner prostate is scooped out, but the outside structure remains.
- There are three main types of prostate removal procedures.
- The most common is called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).
Your recovery time will depend on what procedure was used to remove your prostate. TURP means up to three days in the hospital. Open prostatectomy requires a much longer hospital stay than TURP based on how quickly our surgery site heals. On the other hand, laser prostatectomy is the least invasive of the procedures and is an outpatient procedure. You may need to rest for a few days, but you will be able to go home the same day as the procedure.
- Your recovery time will depend on what procedure was used to remove your prostate.
- Open prostatectomy requires a much longer hospital stay than TURP based on how quickly our surgery site heals.
Long-term Side Effects
There are two main side effects associated with prostate removal: incontinence and impotence. Although nearly everyone who has prostate removal will have trouble controlling their bladder in the first few days, some experience incontinence as a long-term side effect. You doctor may suggest pelvic exercises or surgery to correct the problem. Impotence may also occur from nerve damage during the surgery. You can treat this side effect with drugs or penile implants. Again, talk to your doctor who will discuss your options.
- There are two main side effects associated with prostate removal: incontinence and impotence.
- Although nearly everyone who has prostate removal will have trouble controlling their bladder in the first few days, some experience incontinence as a long-term side effect.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of Laser Prostate Surgery?
Effects of Prostate Removal
Swimming After Vasectomy
Causes of Prostate Pain When Sitting
Prognosis of Stage 4 Colon Cancer
Can the Prostate Be Checked With a Colonscopy?
How to Use Fleet Enemas Prior to a Prostate Biopsy
Medical Reasons for Male Urethra Stretching
How to Use the Prostate Stimulator
Complications After Colon Cancer Surgery
- Lee CL, Kuo HC. Pathophysiology of benign prostate enlargement and lower urinary tract symptoms: Current concepts. Ci Ji Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2017;29(2):79–83. doi:10.4103/tcmj.tcmj_20_17
- Grozescu T, Popa F. Prostate cancer between prognosis and adequate/proper therapy. J Med Life. 2017;10(1):5–12. PMID: 28255369
- Benign enlarged prostate: Overview. InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Published January 25, 2018.
- Weiss JP. Nocturia: focus on etiology and consequences. Rev Urol. 2012;14(3-4):48–55. PMID: 23526404
- Serlin DC, Heidelbaugh JJ, Stoffel JT. Urinary Retention in Adults: Evaluation and Initial Management. Am Fam Physician. 2018;98(8):496-503. PMID: 30277739
- Rowe TA, Juthani-Mehta M. Urinary tract infection in older adults. Aging health. 2013;9(5):10.2217/ahe.13.38. doi:10.2217/ahe.13.38
- Rodgers M, Nixon J, Hempel S, et al. Diagnostic tests and algorithms used in the investigation of haematuria: systematic reviews and economic evaluation. Health Technol Assess. 2006;10(18):iii-iv, xi-259. doi:10.3310/hta10180
- Liu TT, Thomas S, Mclean DT, et al. Prostate enlargement and altered urinary function are part of the aging process. Aging (Albany NY). 2019;11(9):2653–2669. doi:10.18632/aging.101938
- Roehrborn CG. Benign prostatic hyperplasia: an overview. Rev Urol. 2005;7 Suppl 9(Suppl 9):S3–S14. PMID: 16985902
- Prostate Enlargement (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Published September 1, 2014.
- Pontari MA, Ruggieri MR. Mechanisms in prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. J Urol. 2004;172(3):839–845. doi:10.1097/01.ju.0000136002.76898.04
- Litwin MS, Tan HJ. The Diagnosis and Treatment of Prostate Cancer: A Review. JAMA. 2017;317(24):2532-2542. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.7248
- Mandaliya H, Sung J, Hill J, Samali R, George M. Prostate Cancer: Cases of Rare Presentation and Rare Metastasis. Case Rep Oncol. 2015;8(3):526–529. Published 2015 Nov 26. doi:10.1159/000442045
- Palmerola R, Smith P, Elliot V, et al. The digital rectal examination (DRE) remains important - outcomes from a contemporary cohort of men undergoing an initial 12-18 core prostate needle biopsy. Can J Urol. 2012;19(6):6542-7. PMID: 23228289
- Chang RT, Kirby R, Challacombe BJ. Is there a link between BPH and prostate cancer?. Practitioner. 2012;256(1750):13-6, 2. PMID: 22792684
- De Angelis G, Rittenhouse HG, Mikolajczyk SD, Blair Shamel L, Semjonow A. Twenty Years of PSA: From Prostate Antigen to Tumor Marker. Rev Urol. 2007;9(3):113–123. PMID: 17934568
- Prostate cancer: Overview. InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Published February 22, 2018.
- Yu Y, Sikorski P, Bowman-Gholston C, Cacciabeve N, Nelson KE, Pieper R. Diagnosing inflammation and infection in the urinary system via proteomics. J Transl Med. 2015;13:111. Published 2015 Apr 8. doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0475-3
- James LJ, Wong G, Craig JC, et al. Men's perspectives of prostate cancer screening: A systematic review of qualitative studies. PLoS One. 2017;12(11):e0188258. Published 2017 Nov 28. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0188258
- Feneley RC, Hopley IB, Wells PN. Urinary catheters: history, current status, adverse events and research agenda [published correction appears in J Med Eng Technol. 2016;40(2):59]. J Med Eng Technol. 2015;39(8):459–470. doi:10.3109/03091902.2015.1085600
- Colli E, Artibani W, Goka J, Parazzini F, Wein AJ. Are urodynamic tests useful tools for the initial conservative management of non-neurogenic urinary incontinence? A review of the literature. Eur Urol. 2003;43(1):63-9. doi:10.1016/s0302-2838(02)00494-3
- May M, Brookman-amissah S, Hoschke B, Gilfrich C, Braun KP, Kendel F. Post-void residual urine as a predictor of urinary tract infection--is there a cutoff value in asymptomatic men?. J Urol. 2009;181(6):2540-4. doi:10.1016/j.juro.2009.01.103
- Turkbey B, Pinto PA, Choyke PL. Imaging techniques for prostate cancer: implications for focal therapy. Nat Rev Urol. 2009;6(4):191–203. doi:10.1038/nrurol.2009.27
- Demaagd GA, Davenport TC. Management of urinary incontinence. P T. 2012;37(6):345–361H. PMID: 22876096
- Hall SA, Yang M, Gates MA, Steers WD, Tennstedt SL, McKinlay JB. Associations of commonly used medications with urinary incontinence in a community based sample. J Urol. 2012;188(1):183–189. doi:10.1016/j.juro.2012.02.2575
- Nickel JC. Comparison of trials with finasteride and dutasteride. Rev Urol. 2004;6 Suppl 9(Suppl 9):S31–S39. PMID: 16985923
- Chapple CR. A Comparison of Varying alpha-Blockers and Other Pharmacotherapy Options for Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms. Rev Urol. 2005;7 Suppl 4(Suppl 4):S22–S30. PMID: 16986051
- Lipsky BA, Byren I, Hoey CT. Treatment of bacterial prostatitis. Clin Infect Dis. 2010;50(12):1641-52. doi:10.1086/652861
- Welliver C, Helo S, McVary KT. Technique considerations and complication management in transurethral resection of the prostate and photoselective vaporization of the prostate. Transl Androl Urol. 2017;6(4):695–703. doi:10.21037/tau.2017.07.30
- Li M, Qiu J, Hou Q, et al. Endoscopic enucleation versus open prostatectomy for treating large benign prostatic hyperplasia: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLoS One. 2015;10(3):e0121265. Published 2015 Mar 31. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121265
- Lorenzo G, Hughes TJR, Dominguez-Frojan P, Reali A, Gomez H. Computer simulations suggest that prostate enlargement due to benign prostatic hyperplasia mechanically impedes prostate cancer growth. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jan 22;116(4):1152-1161. Published Jan 2019. doi:10.1073/pnas.1815735116
Michaele Curtis began writing professionally in 2001. As a freelance writer for the Centers for Disease Control, Nationwide Insurance and AT&T Interactive, her work has appeared in "Insurance Today," "Mobiles and PDAs" and "Curve Magazine." Curtis holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Louisiana State University.