Will There Be Any Scarring After Prostate Surgery?

Dr. James Mohler answers the question: 'Will There Be Scarring After Surgery?'

March 16, 2009 -- Question: Will there be any scarring after prostate surgery?

Answer: After prostate surgery, all patients will have a scar on their abdominal wall. If they've had an open prostatectomy, there will be the usual 3- or 4-inch scar. If they've had a robotic prostatectomy, there will be small scars from the port sites that are probably a half inch long at their largest.

A more important scar that patients should be concerned about is one they cannot see. About 5 percent of men will develop a scar where the urethra is sewn back together again to the bladder after prostate removal. If this anastomosis scars, it's very important that patients be treated appropriately for it.

While this only occurs in about 5 percent of men, I have never yet had a scar come back if the anastomotic stricture is incised using a cold knife. If instead they're simply dilated, the rate of reformation of these scars is quite high. If these scars become a chronic problem, they can impact your urinary control and even can cause the need for catheterizing yourself everyday.

So, these scars occur rarely, but the consequences of the scars especially if not treated optimally can be significant.