Unnecessary Dangers of Anesthesia During Radical Prostatectomy Surgery

by | Mar 15, 2024 | CyberKnife Center of Miami, CyberKnife Treatment, Prostate Treatment Miami

Most men considering surgery for prostate cancer – especially a radical prostatectomy or surgery to remove the prostate – are so concerned with long-term side effects after surgery like urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction that they overlook the risks of the surgery itself.

While men undergoing radical prostatectomies have high survival rates and low rates of cancer returning, complications from the surgery itself – including from general anesthesia — should be top of mind for patients.

There are about 90,000 radical prostatectomies performed in the United States each year.

The procedure is typically done one of two ways:

  • A laparoscopic prostatectomy is when doctors operate through a few smaller incisions typically with robotic assistance.  
  • An open prostatectomy is where the surgeon operates through a long incision.  This procedure is less common now.

With each type of procedure, risks can include reactions to anesthesia, bleeding, blood clots, and damage to nearby organs.


Effects of Anesthesia

First and foremost, anesthesia is generally considered safe, but it can affect your body during and after any procedure.

Side effects from general anesthesia can include nausea, vomiting, a sore throat, postoperative delirium, chills, itching, and muscle aches. These generally dissipate after a few days.

In rare cases, the anesthesia can cause what’s called postoperative cognitive dysfunction, leading to long-term memory and learning problems in some patient populations. It’s more common in older patients and those with heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and a history of stroke.  

That’s why talking to both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist is so important when considering any surgery – especially one for prostate cancer.


Prostate Cancer Treatment Alternatives 

The experts at CyberKnife Center of Miami, the premiere cancer radiation treatment center in South Florida, want you to know you have choices when it comes to your treatment for prostate cancer. Surgery is not the only option.

According to a 12-year study presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in 2020, Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), the kind of radiation used in CyberKnife treatments has high rates of long-term cancer control with mild toxicity.

There is also a 98% success rate for prostate cancer with CyberKnife.

“CyberKnife technology delivers very precise doses of radiation directly to the tumor site and it stays right on its target, even if the patient moves, the robots arm moves with the patient. That in turn greatly reduces the risk of causing damage to nearby healthy tissue and organs, which results in less risk of side effects,” explains Dr. Mark Pomper, radiation oncologist and medical director of CyberKnife Miami in a YouTube video.

Other Benefits: With CyberKnife because of its precision, there is less risk of burning the anus or testicles during treatment. 

There is also a reduced risk of impotence and urinary incontinence. Sexual function remains the same for most patients after treatment.  And because patients are awake the whole time, there is no anesthesia and no risks associated with anesthesia.

There are also minimal side effects, which may include tiredness and urinary and rectal irritation. Medication minimizes these, and they usually dissipate in a few days or weeks.  

Here are some other benefits:

  • It’s non-invasive. 
  • There is no cutting.  
  • CyberKnife causes less disruption to patients’ lives.
  • It doesn’t come with the risks of surgery like infection and long periods of downtime.
  • CyberKnife’s treatments can be done in five radiation therapy sessions over 10 days. That’s compared to 42 over three months with other types of radiation treatments.
  • Treatments are outpatient and last 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Patients can be treated repeatedly with CyberKnife should the cancer come back.

For patients with metastatic prostate cancer, ones who can’t have surgery, failed other treatments, or have been told there’s nothing left to do – CyberKnife can be a beneficial treatment option as well. 


Prostate Cancer Treatment Near Me: CyberKnife Miami

If you or someone you love is diagnosed with prostate cancer, contact the experts at CyberKnife Miami for a consultation. We’ll help you figure out the best treatment for you. Because of our unparalleled experience, people come to our cancer center for treatment patients from all across Florida, the United States, and even around the world.

If you would like to find out more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife, call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our prostate cancer website now for more information.