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Side Effects of Prostate Surgery: What To Know

The male prostate gland is in the pelvis area below the bladder. In extreme cases, your doctor may have no choice but to remove either all or part of it.

There are several ways that the surgeon may go about this, but one thing is true. There will be possible side effects no matter what method your doctor decides to go with.

These side effects may be as minor as some slight urination issues or as major as infertility. Want to learn more about what you can expect out of your prostate surgery. Check out this guide to find out all the problems you may face.

Why Do You Need Surgery?

The main reason why your doctor will suggest surgery is if you have prostate cancer. Surgery can work alongside other methods such as chemotherapy to get rid of tumors.

It’s less common, but your doctor may also schedule prostate surgery if you have enlarged glands or a major urinary issue. In these cases, the surgeon will most likely only remove part of your prostate instead of the entire thing.

Different Types Of Surgery

The success rate of prostate surgery depends on the method. The first type is radical retropubic. It involves cutting from your belly button to your pelvic bone.

It gives the surgeon plenty of space to remove the prostate. They’ll also be able to get to the lymph nodes. They may remove them if they feel like testing is necessary.

The radical perineal procedure works the same way as the radical retropubic surgery. The difference is that the surgeon will only cut the area between the rectum and scrotum. They’ll be able to remove the prostate using this method, but they won’t have enough space to do anything with the lymph nodes.

Some surgeries require a more precise hand. For these procedures, the doctor will use a robotic hand to take care of things while staring at a monitor.

Urination Issues

When you have your prostate removed, the surgeon will pull your bladder down and connect it with your urethra. During this process, it’s possible for the base of your bladder to be damaged.

If this happens, you can experience some leaking or complete loss of your urinary functions. It’s important to note that this is one of the most common effects of prostate removal. If you only have minor leaking, the problem can be fixed with exercises.

If the effects are so severe that they interfere with your daily life, your doctor may talk to you about inserting an artificial sphincter.

Bowel Dysfunction

Bowel dysfunction is one of the rarest issues that you can experience after prostate surgery. You increase your chances if you go through any kind of radiation therapy, but even then, it’s still not likely.

Most men show signs of diarrhea as their radiation therapy goes on. You may also have some rectal bleeding, but that should clear up a few months after your surgery. At worse, you’ll still bleed a bit year or two after everything is said and done.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction remains the most common side effect of prostate surgery. You see, the nerves and blood vessels that control that function are extremely delicate. The smallest complication during surgery could cause problems.

The good news is that over time if you still have intact nerves after the surgery, you should get back most or all of your functionality. It all depends on how skilled your surgeon is, so you’re going to want to do some serious research before you choose someone for the job.

Keep in mind that if you had erectile dysfunction or any condition that affects your ability to keep an erection, you’re going to have a more difficult time getting back on your feet per se. You can click for more information.


After prostate surgery, you have an increased chance of experiencing a condition known as retrograde ejaculation. It’s a condition where semen flows into a man’s bladder instead of out of their penis.

It’s a common condition that can prevent you from fathering children the traditional way. Your doctor may also end up removing your semen glands during the surgery, which can also result in infertility.

Both situations will also cause you to experience orgasm differently than most other men. If that poses a problem for you, it’s something that you’ll need to talk over with your doctor before you schedule your surgery.

Urethral Stricture

If your urethra is damaged during the surgery, you may develop a urethral stricture. It’s a painful condition that occurs when your urethra narrows due to scarring.

Men who experience this problem often have to strain when urinating. Sometimes it results in a divided stream.


You can reduce your chances of experiencing some of these conditions and speed up your prostate surgery recovery time at home by practicing the proper aftercare steps.

Keep your surgical wounds clean. Strenuous activity is a no-go, so you can’t drive for a week after you get out of surgery and avoid climbing steps when you can.

Don’t sit in one position for more than 45 minutes at a time, and if you experience swelling for over a week, be sure to get into contact with your doctor.

Bounce Back From Prostate Surgery Fast

If you have cancer or severe urinary problems, your doctor may suggest that you undergo prostate surgery. In the case of most procedures, there’s a chance that you could experience complications.

As long as you follow your doctor’s instructions, it will lessen your chance and help you bounce back from surgery faster. For more tips that will get you through your procedure, visit the Wellness section of our blog.

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