Open Prostatectomy Summary

Open prostatectomy is a surgery that is used to remove all or part of the prostate gland. During this surgery the prostate is removed via an incision in the lower belly. This surgery is used to treat an enlarged prostate gland.

Open prostatectomy may be performed if you have:

  • Urinary retention
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Prostate bleeding
  • Slow urination
  • Kidney damage
  • Bladder stones
  • Cancer is confirmed or suspected

Length of the procedure:  2 to 4 hours

Hospital Stay:  Generally you will be hospitalized for 3 to 7 days when you have an open prostatectomy abroad.

Recovery before traveling home:  Patients seeking an open prostatectomy through medical tourism can return home within 4 to 7 days in most cases.

Travel Tip:  Depending on the surgical method used for your procedure you may released from care sooner than you think. It is best to have a comfortable, handicap accessible hotel room to recover in until your departure.

Procedure Details

Your surgery will begin with the administration of anesthesia. The surgeon will use a spinal block or general anesthesia. Either way you will be comfortable, relaxed and pain free.

The surgeon will access your prostate through an incision in your lower belly. The incision spans from just below the belly button to just above the penis. The surgeon will remove the inner part of the prostate gland.

Once the inner part of the prostate gland is removed the surgeon will close the outer part of the prostate will absorbable sutures. They may place a drainage tube in your belly to remove excess fluids after the surgery. They will close the incision in your lower belly with sutures or staples.

After the Procedure

After the procedure you will be taken to recovery. You will remain in recovery until you have sufficiently recovered from the anesthesia. During this time the staff will closely monitor your vitals.

You will stay in bed for the first 24 hours following your procedure. After that time period you will be encourage to move around as much as possible. The staff will show you bedside exercises to prevent clots and breathing exercises to prevent respiratory infection.

You will have a catheter in your bladder to drain urine. This catheter will be left in place for a few days. It is not uncommon to see blood in your urine for the first few days after your procedure.

Self care after open prostatectomy:

  • Rest frequently
  • Breathing exercises to prevent infection
  • Bedside exercises to prevent clots
  • No driving for 3 to 6 weeks
  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily
  • High fiber diet


The outlook for this procedure is good. Most men recover within 6 weeks. In fact, most men will regain normal urinary function and have no leakage.

Risks and Complications

As is with any surgery there are risks associated with open prostatectomy. The following is a list of the most common risks and complications:

  • Blood clots
  • Breathing problems
  • Reaction to anesthesia or medication
  • Infection
  • Blood loss
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Incontinence both bowel and bladder
  • Infertility
  • Impotence
  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Scar tissue
  • Organ damage
  • Nerve damage
  • TUR syndrome or water build up during surgery

Contact your physician if any of the following occur:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased pain
  • Persistent cough
  • Cannot eat or drink
  • Fever of 100.5 degrees or greater
  • Urine is thick, yellow, green or milky
  • Burning during urination
  • Chills
  • Weak urine stream
  • Cannot urinate
  • Legs or leg become painful, red or swollen
  • Blood in urine
  • Grit or stones in urine
  • Urine smells foul