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n. surgical removal of the prostate gland. The operation is necessary to relieve retention of urine due to enlargement of the prostate or to reduce lower urinary tract symptoms thought to be due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (see prostate gland). The operation can be performed through the bladder (transvesical prostatectomy) or through the surrounding capsule of the prostate (retropubic prostatectomy). In the operation of transurethral prostatectomy (or transurethral resection) some or all the obstructing prostate can be removed through the urethra using a resectoscope (see resection).

Radical (or total) prostatectomy is undertaken for the treatment of prostate cancer that is confined to the gland. It entails removal of the prostate together with its capsule and the seminal vesicles. Continuity of the urinary tract is achieved by anastomosing the bladder to the divided urethra. Radical prostatectomy may be performed by laparoscopy, sometimes with the aid of a robot (robotic prostatectomy): the three-armed da Vinci robot can be operated by the surgeon via a console and provides three-dimensional displays of the operation site and surrounding structures.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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