Surgery for Prostate Cancer

Washington University prostate cancer surgeons at Siteman Cancer Center only recommend surgery for prostate cancer when it’s absolutely necessary. They use minimally-invasive methods whenever possible to minimize the risk of side effects.

We offer clinical trials that involve using immunotherapy or advanced hormone therapy to shrink prostate tumors before proceeding to surgery. Don’t hesitate to ask your care team if there are any clinical trials available that could make surgery easier for you.

What is a radical prostatectomy?

During this prostate surgery, the whole prostate gland is removed, along with surrounding tissue, seminal vesicles and sometimes nearby lymph nodes. Patients undergo this procedure when their cancer is confined to the prostate. Long-term data on radical prostatectomies demonstrates that this cures the majority of patients whose cancer has not spread.

Although this surgery was performed in open fashion in the past, we now perform it either laparoscopically or robotically.  These minimally-invasive approaches have dramatically reduced the pain and recovery time after surgery.

What is a transurethral resection of the prostate?

This prostate surgery is done through the urethra with a tube called a resectascope to remove prostate tissue.  Usually performed for BPH, a non-cancerous enlarged prostate, it can also relieve symptoms caused by a cancerous tumor before or after other treatment is given.

What are the side effects of prostate cancer surgery?

Prostate cancer treatment is associated with many quality of life side effects, including changes in urinary and sexual function.  Although the high-caliber urologic surgeons at Siteman have a lower rate of these side effects in patients they treat, every patient will, at minimum, endure temporary changes in these domains.

Urologists at Washington University are not only experts in prostate cancer treatment, but also experts in urologic reconstruction.  We have experts who can manage your urinary and sexual function side effects successfully, such that your long term quality of life will not suffer.