St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center


Surgery is a common treatment for patients with prostate cancer. Your St. Anthony's Cancer Care Center doctor will discuss your surgical options with you.

Radical Prostatectomy

This is the surgical standard for prostate cancer. During a radical prostatectomy, your surgeon removes your entire prostate gland and some surrounding tissue. If you are younger than age 70, and the cancer has not spread beyond the prostate, this procedure is an option for you.

There are three ways to perform a radical prostatectomy:

  • Open surgery is the traditional procedure. Your surgeon makes an incision in your body, in your lower belly or your groin area, and removes the prostate.

  • Laparoscopic surgery uses several smaller incisions rather than one large one. Your doctor inserts a lighted tube called a laparoscope into one of the incisions. Small instruments are inserted into the other incisions for the doctor to use in removing the prostate. A laparoscopic approach usually leads to a quicker recovery because there are smaller incisions, less risk of infection and reduced blood loss.

  • Robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (surgery) uses the robotic da Vinci® Si™ Surgical System for prostate cancer surgical treatment. It is similar to a laparoscopic approach, but the actual surgery is performed via robotic surgery instruments that your surgeon controls. Surgeons receive intense training in using a da Vinci robotic surgery system.

Nerve-Sparing Radical Prostatectomy

This is a similar procedure to a radical prostatectomy, but the surgeon avoids specific nerves that run alongside the prostate. This reduces the risk of impotency. However, with nerve-sparing surgery, there is a higher risk that some cancer cells will remain. This kind of surgery is only an option if your prostate cancer was caught early and is far away from the bundle of nerves your surgeon wishes to avoid.