"You don't have to live with incontinence. There are options out there for you."
The radical prostatectomy helped you survive cancer. We may be able to help you with the side effects from surgery.
With a successful radical prostatectomy, you've survived the most common form of non-skin cancer in men in the United States—a cancer that claimed an estimated 32,050 lives in 2010.1 Because 60% of all prostate cancers are discovered before the cancer has spread to other organs, radical prostatectomy is the treatment of choice for many urologists.2,3
Radical prostatectomy involves the removal of the prostate, seminal vesicles, and nearby lymph nodes. The procedure may deliver excellent long-term survival outcomes, but it still has significant side effects, including:
Common Side Effects
- Infertility: Semen production stops when the seminal vesicles and prostate are removed. Also, the tube that carries sperm is blocked off during surgery. This is a consequence of all radical prostatectomy procedures performed.
- Urinary Incontinence: Damage to the sphincter muscles, which are supposed to contract to prevent urine from flowing out of the bladder, results in some degree of incontinence and is very common after prostate surgery.4
- Erectile Dysfunction: The nerves that are responsible for creating an erection are sometimes damaged during the prostate removal process, making it temporarily or permanently difficult to sustain an erection suitable for intercourse. To find out more about erectile dysfunction, click here.
Rare Side Effects
- Rectal injury
Although infertility is an inevitable cost of having your cancer removed, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction are treatable. Some men believe these conditions are the price you pay for being cancer-free, but as you will see, they don’t have to be.
This site is dedicated to providing educational and treatment information for patients, caregivers, and health care providers associated with male urinary incontinence.
- SEER stat fact sheets: prostate. National Cancer Institute Web site. http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/prost.html. Accessed June 29, 2011.
- Post-treatment issues. Us TOO Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network Web site. http://www.ustoo.org/post_treatment_issues.asp. Accessed June 29, 2011.
- Tan GY, El Douailhy Y, Te AE, Tewari AK. Scientific and technical advances in continence recovery following radical prostatectomy. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2009;6(4):431-453.
- Carter HB. Prostate Disorders: Johns Hopkins White Papers. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Medicine; 2010:46-71.