It is part of the male reproductive system and its function is to produce some of the fluid that carries sperm when you ejaculate. About 50-75% of semen is fluid that comes from the prostate. The rest is fluid from the seminal vessels and actual sperm. That fluid from the prostate is rich in nutrients and helps to protect and support the sperm on their long journey to fertilisation.
What can go wrong with my prostate?
There are four main problems that the prostate can encounter. You can follow the links to find out more about each one.
You may already have a diagnosis from your GP. If that is the case, by all means, read on but I also encourage you to visit my appointments page and make a time to see me. The earlier treatment begins, the better the outcome.
Can I live without it?
It may be that your treatment will require the removal of the prostate, a procedure we call prostatectomy. Unlike organs like the appendix and the tonsils, which can be removed with no discernible change to your daily life, removal of the prostate can have some side effects that may affect your lifestyle.
Those side effects may include:
- Difficulty in getting or maintaining and erection
- Orgasm without ejaculation
- Loss of sex drive
- Urinary incontinence
Some of these side effects will be temporary, others may be permanent. The difference is often in the quality of the procedure and the skill of the surgeon performing that procedure. I use the most advanced robotic surgery techniques. These techniques are what we call “minimally invasive” – that is, I insert small instruments into your abdomen and perform “keyhole” surgery with the aid of the robot machine. This is different to the open surgical technique, where I make a large cut in your tummy, big enough to fit in my two hands to operate.
With the robot surgical technique, there is less post operative pain, less risk of bleeding, lower risk of wound infection and an earlier return to activity of daily living. Recent data suggests that the better view obtained by the magnification of the robot telescopes can lead to less side effects after your operation, with less damage to surrounding organs and nerves.
However, your outcome is determined by the experience of your surgeon and their surgical techniques, rather than the method (open vs. robot) by which the prostate is removed.