An open prostatectomy is only carried out in certain situations. This is because, while the surgery is known to be effective, it is major surgery and may take longer to heal. It is generally only suitable for men who have an enlarged prostate over a certain size (usually 80 mL, which is approximately 4 times the size of a healthy prostate).
During an open prostatectomy the prostate gland is removed through a cut in your lower abdomen under a general anaesthetic or spinal anaesthetic so you will either be asleep during the procedure or awake but will be numb from the waist down.
At the end of the operation, a catheter is placed in your bladder to help drain urine while you recover from the surgery.
The catheter tube is inserted via the urinary opening in the penis. It is passed down the length of the penis, up the urethra and into the bladder. The catheter is inserted at the end of your surgery, so you will not feel any discomfort as you will still be asleep or numb (depending on the type of anaesthetic you have) when the catheter is placed.
You will not need to use the toilet to urinate while a catheter is in place as it drains urine out of the bladder, down the catheter tube and into a urine bag that your medical team will empty for you, as needed.
As well as draining urine away, the catheter also allows your doctor to flush your bladder and urethra with a sterile solution to help prevent blood clots.
You may need to keep the catheter in place for a week or more until you can urinate on your own. Removing the catheter is usually done by a nurse and is very straightforward, with little discomfort.
Removing the prostate means you will no longer ejaculate when you orgasm. You will still feel the sensation of an orgasm, but no semen is produced. So, while it may feel a little different at first, you can still experience sexual pleasure.
Removal of the prostate through the lower abdomen