The surgery used to treat prostate cancer is called a radical prostatectomy, performed by a urologist. It treats cancer through removal of the whole prostate, where the cancer is.
The urologist also removes the seminal vesicles (glands connected to the prostate) and some tissue in the area. They make an incision (cut) in the urethra to remove the prostate, then reconnect the bladder to the urethra.
Prostatectomy is an option for localised (Stage 1 and Stage 2) prostate cancer. Your specialist will discuss whether it is an option for you if you have Stage 3 (locally advanced) prostate cancer.
A prostatectomy is a major surgery under general anaesthetic. You can expect to spend two nights in hospital and recover at home for several weeks.
There are two methods of doing this surgery:
- open prostatectomy where the surgeon makes one incision that is about 7.5cm to 10cm long.
- laparoscopic prostatectomy is a keyhole surgery where a surgeon makes small (5 to 10mm) incisions. They have vision through a mini camera inside the body. In a robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy, they precisely control the surgery using robotic arms.
At Epworth, patients can access surgery with our advanced da Vinci® robotic technology. We pioneered the first robotic assisted prostatectomy in Australia in 2003 and continue to excel in prostate surgery.
Choosing your surgeon
Research shows a direct link between successful outcomes and a surgeon experienced in prostatectomy. When choosing your surgeon, you can ask about their experience and whether they perform several prostatectomies a year.
Epworth is a private hospital group where you can choose your surgeon from a number of leading urologists based across Melbourne and Geelong.