The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that sits below the bladder and wraps around the urethra in males. As a man ages, the prostate can grow and develop cancer cells. Removing the prostate treats the cancer. Removing a portion of the prostate can help decrease the size and reduce urinary problems. Several different surgical options exist for prostate operations, including laser surgery and laparoscopic prostate surgery. As with all surgical procedures, complications and risks exist.
Leaking urine may occur following any type of prostate surgery. Having short-term urinary incontinence is common, but the return of urinary control usually occurs less than a year following the surgery, according to the American Urological Association Foundation. Some men may also experience urinary retention. Scar tissue may partially block the urethra, which carries the urine out of the body. The retention may require a urinary catheter to fully drain the bladder.
Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, is a possible complication following prostate surgery. The erectile dysfunction occurs because the nerves that stimulate the penis for an erection sit near the prostate. Removing the prostate and surrounding tissue may damage the nerves for erections. A normal recovery for possible erections is usually four months to two years, but may take longer, according to the American Urological Association Foundation. Having laser surgery decreases the risk of erectile problems following surgery.
An infection of the urinary tract may follow prostate surgery. A urinary tract infection can occur due to a urinary catheter commonly placed in the urethra to ensure the man can still urinate after the procedure. Symptoms of a urinary infection include burning during urination, urinary frequency and cloudy urine. Antibiotics help treat the infection.
Bleeding and Blood Clots
Bleeding may occur after prostate removal. The man may donate blood prior to surgery to use postoperatively. A blood clot may occur in the leg after surgery. The blood clot can break free from the vein and travel to a vital organ such as the heart, lungs or brain. A blood clot can cause a stroke, heart attack or death.
Some men can experience a dry orgasm after having prostate surgery. A dry orgasm occurs when no ejaculate occurs after an orgasm. Other men can have retrograde ejaculation, in which the semen goes into the bladder instead of out the body during an orgasm. Retrograde ejaculation can affect fertility for men, according to MayoClinic.com.