Prostate Cancer Surgery

Prostate cancer surgical procedures

The undertaking of a radical prostatectomy is dependent on both diagnosis and patient preference. Where early stage cancer is confined to the prostate, nerve sparing prostatectomies are possible; these high-precision procedures remove cancer and improve damage limitation to the prostate and nearby erectile nerves during surgery.

A nerve sparing prostatectomy is less effective when cancer has breached the prostate, as a wider area must be treated during the procedure to best achieve the desired results. Options including robot-assisted surgery (for example, da Vinci technology) available and should be discussed with your consultant. Extended lymph node dissection is also optional for high risk patients with a PSA score between ten and twenty.

Prostate Cancer Surgery
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Prostate Cancer Surgery candidates

Prostate cancer patients whose cancer is prostate-confined (but are otherwise fit and healthy) could be candidates for prostate cancer surgery. Surgery could also be a viable option for patients with locally advanced prostate cancer, which has barely breached the prostate; this will be dictated by the spread rate of the patient’s prostate cancer. Recurrent prostate cancer can usually also be treated.

Whichever surgical course of treatment is undertaken to treat prostate cancer, the individual skill and experience of the surgeon is key. Many patients will gauge a surgeon’s success rates based on previous results, ahead of the actual proven benefits of the technologies and treatments. Patient suitability can also be affected by conditions such as heart disease.


Some men prefer to have their prostate removed, but prostate cancer surgery entirely removes cancer whenever it’s confined to the prostate (depending on the cancer’s spread rate, further treatment may be required). Results will be analysed, but patients should see a significant drop in their PSA score within eight weeks of surgery; this clarifies if the cancer has been removed entirely.


All major operations involve risk and prostate cancer surgery can incur side-effects including erectile dysfunction or urinary issues… natural fertility, ejaculation and the ability to produce semen is also lost. Full cancer removal may also prove impossible if the prostate is breached; ongoing treatment is usually needed. Depending on personal circumstance, patients typically spend five days in hospital.

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