Surgery for penile cancer
Penile tumors can often be surgically removed. The consequences for the penis will depend on the tumor size. If possible, we will use penile sparing surgery techniques.
By using penile sparing surgery techniques we may be able to reconstruct the part of the penis that had to be removed by means of a skin transplant. This will minimize the effects of the surgery on your life. The penis will retain its urinary and sexual function. If the tumor is too big, we may no longer be able to use these penile sparing techniques and often have to remove the entire penis.
Sentinel node procedure
We can take a sentinel node biopsy before your surgery. This will help us track down possible (minimal) metastases in the lymph nodes. If we find that the cancer has spread to the sentinel node, we will have to remove the lymph nodes in the groin or pelvic area. We remove all lymph nodes, including those containing metastases.
Lymph node removal (lymph node dissection)
If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the groin, we recommend additional surgery to remove the lymph nodes in the groin or pelvis because of the risk of metastases. We may be able to remove the lymph nodes through robot assisted surgery. Your urologist will insert a temporary tube for wound and lymph fluid drainage. The tube can be removed after a few days.
Admission and screenings
Most patients will only have to spend one night at the hospital after penile surgery or a sentinel node biopsy. If you have an additional lymph node dissection done, you may have so stay at the hospital days for approximately 3 days. We will schedule additional appointments for consultations during which we will discuss the results of the tissue analysis, and check the healing process of the surgical scar. We will continue to schedule screenings with you to ensure that the cancer does not return. After a lymph node dissection, one of our clinical nurse specialists will give you additional information.