Surgery for prostate cancer
The main type of surgery for localised prostate cancer is a radical prostatectomy. This involves removing the prostate, part of the urethra, and the seminal vesicles.
For intermediate-risk or high-risk prostate cancer, nearby lymph glands may also be removed (pelvic lymph node dissection). After the prostate is removed, the urethra will be rejoined to the bladder and the vas deferens (tubes that carry sperm from the testes to the penis) will be sealed.
To find out more, visit the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
Learn more about:
- Radical prostatectomy to remove the prostate
- Making decisions about surgery
- How the surgery is done
- Side effects of prostate cancer surgery
Radical prostatectomy to remove the prostate
Making decisions about surgery
Talk to your surgeon about what types of surgery are available to you. Ask about the advantages and disadvantages of each option. There may be extra costs involved for some procedures and they are not all available at every hospital. You may want to consider getting a second opinion about the most suitable type of surgery.
The surgeon’s experience and skill is more important than the type of surgery offered.
Compared to open surgery, both standard laparoscopic surgery and robotic-assisted surgery usually mean a shorter hospital stay, less bleeding, a smaller scar and a faster recovery. Current evidence suggests that the different approaches have a similar risk of side effects and no difference in outcomes.
Whichever surgical approach is used, a radical prostatectomy is major surgery and you’ll need time to recover.
Podcast: Making Treatment Decisions
Dr Amy Hayden, Radiation Oncologist, Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals, and Chair, Faculty of Radiation Genito-Urinary Group (FROGG), The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, NSW; Prof Shomik Sengupta, Professor of Surgery and Deputy Head, Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, and Visiting Urologist and Uro-Oncology Lead, Urology Department, Eastern Health, VIC; A/Prof Arun Azad, Medical Oncologist, Urological and Prostate Cancers, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Ken Bezant, Consumer; Dr Marcus Dreosti, Radiation Oncologist, GenesisCare, and Clinical Strategy Lead, Oncology Australia, SA; A/Prof Nat Lenzo, Nuclear Physician, Specialist in Internal Medicine, Group Clinical Director, GenesisCare Theranostics and The University of Western Australia, WA; Jessica Medd, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Department of Urology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, and HeadwayHealth Clinical and Consulting Psychology Services, NSW; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Western Australia; Graham Rees, Consumer; Kerry Santoro, Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, SA; A/Prof David Smith, Senior Research Fellow, Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW; Matthew Starr, Consumer. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title. This booklet is funded through the generosity of the people of Australia.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.