Radical prostatectomy is the removal of the whole prostate. This can be done in one of three ways:
- Robotic (da Vinci) Prostatectomy
- Laparoscopic Prostatectomy
- Open Prostatectomy
Radical Prostatectomy is generally recommended for men with a life expectancy of 10 years or more and who are fit enough to cope with a major operation. Your decision may depend on how the side-effects of each treatment may affect your quality of life.
Unfortunately in 3 out of 10 men having a radical prostatectomy the cancer will already have spread to surrounding tissue, making the operation ineffective. In these men the PSA will rise at some time after radical prostatectomy. You will then need to undergo further treatment, usually by radiotherapy. Your PSA should fall to a very low level following the operation. As long as it does not rise, it is generally considered that you are free of the cancer.
Robotic Radical prostatectomy is performed using the da Vinci robot. The whole prostate can be removed through a number of small incisions, meaning that healing time is quicker, post-operative pain is reduced and there is less risk of infection. The view of the surgical field by means of the 3D stereoscopic display means that the surgeon has a much clearer view of the nerves and blood vessels surrounding the prostate which may help to minimise blood loss and reduce the risk of damaging the nerves responsible for continence and erectile function.