Radical prostatectomy is the removal of the prostate. It’s a major surgical procedure for the treatment of prostate cancer that is performed under general anesthesia in a hospital operating room. During the procedure, the urologist removes the prostate gland and the seminal vesicles (an organ attached to the top of the prostate).
There are several methods to perform radical prostatectomy, including Da Vinci and robotic laparoscopy, but all do basically the same procedure . The urethra tube is cut across the top of the prostate (where the tube joins the bladder) and the bottom of the prostate. Then the prostate and seminal vesicles are removed. Next, the bladder is pulled down into the man’s pelvis and sewn to the lower part of the urethra located where the prostate used to be.
Depending on the extent of the cancer, the surgeon will try to preserve the sex nerves. The surgery takes approximately two hours for most men. It may be necessary to wear a urinary catheter one week or more after the procedure.
The cure and complication rates (urine incontinence and loss of sex function) are the same for all surgical techniques, either open or laparoscopy. The only documented advantage to the robotic technique is that men are discharged from the hospital within one to two days after the robotic, compared to four to seven days with the open method. There is also less blood loss and a lower transfusion rate with the robotic technique. Still, a significant loss of blood is very low with any method of radical prostatectomy.
A study from the Southwest Oncology Group documented that the most common reason men have a recurrence of prostate cancer after a radical prostatectomy is that microscopic capsule penetration cancer cells were left behind. Keep in mind, 14% of men are still not cured following treatment and have regrowth of prostate cancer within ten years of surgery. Microscopic capsule penetration can be missed with a radical prostatectomy.
Microscopic capsule penetration can occur at any location around the prostate and result in radical prostatectomy failure. However, the most common location for cell leakage is at the bottom of the prostate (the apex). It is common for prostate cancer to be located at the bottom of the prostate: 67% of men biopsied, who have prostate cancer, have cancer at the bottom of the prostate. However, there is no capsule to contain prostate cancer at the apex, which means that prostate cancer can easily leak out of the prostate in this area.
Urinary leakage (incontinence) is defined as men wearing one or more pads per day. With highly experienced surgeons, the chance of urinary leakage has been reported from 8-17%. The incontinence rate is the same regardless of the radical prostatectomy surgery technique.
ProstRcision ® has high documented disease-free survival rates using the strictest definition (PSA < 0.2 ng/ml, 15 years after treatment). Equally important, this unique approach to eradicating prostate cancer preserves sexual function and maintains urinary control for most men. The documented 10-year and 15-year high disease-free survival rates, combined with no cutting of the prostate and very few side effects, are why over 16,000 men from all 50 states and over 40 countries have chosen ProstRcision.
If you have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, it’s critical to personally research prostate cancer treatment options to make an informed decision that is best for you and your family. And, with few exceptions, your first treatment gives you the best chance for success. Order our free Prostate Cancer Guide for additional information or call and talk with a Prostate Cancer Nurse Patient Navigator who can answer your questions and assist you in getting a second opinion from a radiation oncologist.
Make an informed prostate cancer treatment decision. Our 40-page, comprehensive guidebook provides answers to our most frequently asked questions from men diagnosed with prostate cancer, and compares various treatment methods, cure rates and side effects. Our team can also connect you with one of our oncologists at no cost.