During a prostatectomy, the surgeon usually removes both the prostate as well as some lymph nodes and nearby tissue. There are several procedures for removal of the prostate. The most common types are Retropubic Open Radical Prostatectomy, Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy, and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy. In the open procedures, a larger incision is made through which the surgery is performed. In the laparoscopic procedures, a few small incisions are made through which instruments are inserted that are used to do the removal. In the robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP), a robot is used by the surgeon to help guide the laparoscopic instruments. After the prostate is removed, the surgeon must reconnect the bladder to the urethra, and a catheter is placed so that urine can flow from the bladder while the connection heals. The catheter is usually left in place for one to two weeks.
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