Surgery for Prostate Cancer

For many men diagnosed with prostate cancer, surgery may be an appropriate treatment option. In addition to removing any cancer from the prostate and its surrounding area, surgery is performed with the goal of preserving urinary control and erectile function.

The most common surgical approach is robotic radical prostatectomy, a surgical technique used to remove part, or all, of the prostate gland and its surrounding cancerous tissue.

Robotic prostatectomy allows a surgeon to better visualize the surgical field, perform the operation in a minimally invasive fashion and also decrease the risk of blood loss. This technique is done in contrast to traditional “open” approaches, which are now only used in very rare instances.

In many cases, a surgeon can predict the likelihood of a man’s cancer spreading to surrounding lymph nodes prior to surgery. If a patient’s risk is high, a surgeon will likely take a biopsy sample of the lymph node at the time of prostatectomy.

For patients with extremely aggressive disease, multimodality treatments may be beneficial. This involves performing a radical prostatectomy, with the addition of removing soft tissue surrounding the prostate gland. This is beneficial if the cancer has spread outside of the prostate. Following surgery, patients often receive hormone treatment and radiation to maximize the chance of a cure. Multimodality care increases the likelihood of cure when compared to treating with any one modality.

When choosing a surgeon for your prostate cancer care, it’s important to identify a professional who specializes in urologic oncology. A urologic oncologist, verses a general oncologist or urologist, has subspecialized training in urologic cancers and is likely highly specialized and experienced in treating many forms of the disease.

At a time when patients and their loved ones are consumed with worry and fear, the team at the Urologic Oncology Program at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute is committed to providing patients with the highest level of access to their doctor before, during and after treatment.