Prostate Cancer Surgery
The Birmingham Prostate Clinic is a nationally recognised centre of excellence for prostate cancer surgery.
Many patients come to BPC after their diagnosis because we offer a wider range of prostate cancer surgery options than most other centres. We welcome patients who wish to seek a second opinion and have specialists within BPC offering non-surgical options such as brachytherapy and external beam radiotherapy. For patients considering prostate cancer surgery, we offer the benefits of one of the largest UK caseload.
We have a unique results centre which is the first of its kind. The results centre enables patients to see their progress after surgery, compare it with other patients and for those considering prostate cancer surgery, it provides a clear, readily understood rates of continence and erectile function recovery in the 12 months after surgery.
The radical prostatectomy, which means the surgical removal of the whole prostate gland, is a very widely used and established method of treating prostate cancer.
“Currently, radical prostatectomy is the only treatment for localised prostate cancer that has shown a cancer-specific survival benefit… in a prospective randomised trial.”
European Association of Urologists, Guidelines on Prostate Cancer, 2008
About the different types of prostate cancer surgery
There are several different methods of undertaking a radical prostatectomy, depending upon the patient’s individual diagnosis and his personal preferences.
For patients with early stage, organ confined prostate cancer, it is possible for the surgeon to undertake a nerve-sparing prostatectomy. This means that the surgeon achieves cancer clearance but also seeks to limit damage to the erectile nerves which lie around the prostate.
A nerve-sparing prostatectomy can be undertaken using laparoscopic, open or robot-assisted surgery (da Vinci prostatectomy). Our surgeon Mr Alan Doherty, who has carried out one of the largest numbers of prostatectomies in the UK with a caseload of 3,000 has extensive and audited results which currently show open surgery is the best method to achieve optimum nerve-sparing. You can discuss the different options, their benefits and disadvantages, in your consultation.
If your cancer cells have started to breach the edge of the prostate, to achieve cancer clearance, wider margins will need to be used which means reduced nerve sparing.
BPC also regularly provides surgery for men with high risk prostate cancer. This group will have a high PSA, of 10–20 or above, with a strong possibility of micrometastases in the pelvic lymph nodes. For this group, we can undertake extended lymph node dissection.
The importance of individual surgeon’s skill and caseload
At BPC, we emphasise that the most important factor in the outcome of prostate cancer surgery is not the method used, but the experience and skill of the individual surgeon.
Mr Doherty has carried out one of the largest caseloads in the UK and also has the most extensive set of prostate cancer surgery results which are accessible within this website, transparent and constantly updated.
This reflects the vision of the UK Prostate Cancer Advisory Group, published in 2008.
“Most patients will make decisions about what surgery they have based on clinician’s surgical outcomes rather than the type of technology used.”
“Our results centre for prostate cancer surgery is the first of its kind. It is not a study, when a group of patients are selected and then later reported to a journal. It is live, constantly updated and provides results in a clear, transparent way covering the outcomes that matter to patients.”