Prostate Cancer

Radical prostatectomy

During this operation the entire prostate gland is removed surgically in an attempt to cure the disease. It is only done when the cancer has not spread from the prostate, and usually in men under 70. It is a common operation for prostate cancer. An incision is made in the abdomen or in the perineum, the area between the legs between the scrotum and the anus. The operation is usually carried out under general anaesthetic. Most men remain in hospital for a week to ten days. Some of the men who had this operation describe their hospital experiences (also see section on 'Side effects of treatments').

The latest way of performing radical prostatectomy is laparoscopic (keyhole surgery), either standard or robot assisted (in the UK in 2012 29% of radical prostatectomies were robot assisted*). These are minimally invasive with the advantages of reduced blood loss, postoperative pain and a shorter hospital stay. For more information see Robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy.

* Comparative Cost-effectiveness of Robot-assisted and Standard Laparoscopic Prostatectomy as Alternatives to Open Radical Prostatectomy for Treatment of Men with Localised Prostate Cancer: A Health Technology Assessment from the Perspective of the UK National Health Service. By: Andrew Closea, Clare Robertsonb, Stephen Rushtona, Mark Shirleya, Luke Valec, Craig Ramsayb and Robert Pickardd, European Urology, Volume 64 Issue 1, September 2013, Pages 361-369

Last reviewed March 2015.
Last updated March 2015.


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