Each surgical procedure carries its own risks. It is important for you to understand any risks that you may be prone to when you undergo surgery. This article discusses some of the risks that you should talk to your doctor about if you are scheduled to undergo prostate cancer surgery.
Urinary incontinence refers to one's inability to control the flow of urine. Prostate cancer surgery can trigger this problem in several ways. For example, the sphincter muscles may be damaged during your surgery. Incontinence may also result from the narrowing of the outlet of your bladder by scar tissue after you undergo prostate cancer surgery. Your doctor will tell you what your chances of developing urinary incontinence are based on the specific type of operation that will be conducted on you. He or she can then suggest options that you can take in case that problem develops.
Erectile dysfunction refers to an inability to sustain an erection for intercourse to take place. This problem is usually caused when the nerves that control erections are removed during the surgery. Removal of those two nerves is dictated by how far they have been affected by the cancer. Ask your doctor to explain your risk level for suffering from erectile dysfunction once you undergo prostate cancer surgery. You can also discuss possible remedies in the event that the problem develops.
Reduction in Penile Length
Some prostate cancer patients may notice that their penis has become shorter after undergoing prostate cancer surgery. This shortening is caused when some of the urethra (the tube that brings urine from the bladder) is removed as the prostate gland is taken out. The extent to which the cancer has spread determines whether part of your urethra will be removed or not.
Loss of Fertility
Your chances of impregnating a woman are likely to decrease once you undergo prostate cancer surgery. This is because the pathway through which sperm are transported from your testicles to the urethra are cut during the surgery. You might want to extract and store your sperm in case you still want to father children after the surgery.
Each patient's case presents its own risk of specific side effects. Talk to your doctor about the side effects that you may suffer. This information will help you to decide whether you should go ahead and be operated upon or not. You can also make preparations to deal with those side effects in case they occur after your surgery.