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Prostate cancer surgery

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Treatment for:

A prostatectomy is a surgery to remove your prostate, which is a treatment option for prostate cancer.

  • Surgical removal of the prostate gland
  • Inpatient operation for prostate cancer
  • Expert robotic keyhole or open surgery

Birmingham Prostate Clinic are a team of leading urologists and oncologists, who specialise in diagnosing and treating prostate, bladder and kidney conditions.

Our consultants are here with specialist advice and seamless pathways to the latest tests and treatments for prostate cancer, including prostatectomy.

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It’s time to get you the treatment plan you need. Our expert consultants are available for appointments to discuss your condition and the medical care that can help.

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Do I need prostate surgery? 

If you have prostate cancer that hasn’t spread to other parts of the body, prostate surgery is usually one treatment option. 

Other options for managing prostate cancer include regular tests to see how fast it grows (active surveillance), radiotherapy, focal therapies, hormone therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

An expert urologist can help you understand the best option for your prostate cancer, which depends on:

  • The size and spread of your cancer
  • How fast your cancer is growing 
  • Your overall health and family history

What else should I consider?  

When looking at treatment options for prostate cancer, there may be other factors that are important to you. 

These could be:

  • Your sexual function, such as erections 
  • Continence (having control of the bladder and bowels)
  • Recovery time

Treatments differ in the outcomes they offer. Trying to understand all the options by yourself can be confusing and overwhelming.

Our expert consultants use a full range of different treatments for prostate cancer. They’re here to help you understand the success rates, benefits and risks of each, so you can choose a treatment you feel comfortable and confident in.

What are the different types of prostatectomy surgery?

There are two main types of surgery for prostate cancer – keyhole surgery and open surgery.

Both remove the whole prostate and the nearby glands (the seminal vesicles). This is called a radical prostatectomy. The goal is to remove all the cancer.

Robotic keyhole surgery

Keyhole surgery is a minimally invasive option for radical prostate surgery, which uses smaller cuts than open surgery. It’s also called laparoscopic prostatectomy. During the procedure, the surgeon makes five or six small cuts in your stomach.

They use these small openings to insert thin surgical tools and a camera inside, carrying out the whole procedure without opening the body.

Our consultants also use robotic keyhole surgery, where they control the surgical tools with a robot. The surgeon is still the one operating, but assistance from the robot helps them perform with added precision.

Keyhole surgery is a less invasive procedure that minimises the risk of complications like infection and blood loss, compared to open surgery. It also has a faster recovery time, with most people going home after one or two days.

Open surgery

With open surgery, a surgeon makes one long abdominal incision from your belly button down to the pubic bone. They do this without cutting any muscle.

Some surgeons prefer open surgery, because it lets them see and feel what’s happening during the procedure. But it’s also a more invasive approach with a longer recovery time.

Whichever technique your surgeon recommends, it’s important to ask what outcomes they expect in your case.

What are the benefits of nerve-sparing surgery? 

Nerve-sparing surgery can be an option for people with early prostate cancer that hasn’t spread outside the prostate.

With nerve-sparing surgery, the surgeon removes your prostate and the cancer, but tries to avoid damage to the nerves around the prostate. These nerves are important for getting and maintaining an erection.

The main benefit of high-quality nerve-sparing surgery is that you may still be able to get erections after surgery if you were able to get them before. 

Nerve-sparing surgery may also minimise other side effects, such as incontinence. Both keyhole and open surgery can be nerve-sparing.

“We have the knowledge and ability to achieve really good results in nerve-sparing surgery. I believe we have a duty to do so because we can safely treat prostate cancer and spare nerves. Erectile function is very important to men’s sense of identity and quality of life.”

– Mr Alan Doherty, Clinical Director, Birmingham Prostate Clinic

How does surgery compare to radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy is a common treatment for prostate cancer that uses radiation to kill cancer cells. It’s a less invasive treatment that’s usually given across multiple sessions, with no need for a hospital stay.

While surgery and radiotherapy can both be effective treatments for prostate cancer, they can have side effects. Radiation therapy is slightly more likely to cause bowel problems, while surgery is more likely to cause issues with leaking urine or erections.

Our consultants use surgery, radiotherapy and HIFU to treat prostate cancer with the latest techniques, allowing patients to access the right treatment path for their needs.

Why choose Birmingham Prostate Clinic?

Our group of expert urologists and oncologists are here with specialist advice and streamlined pathways to tests and treatments for prostate cancer, including open surgery and keyhole surgery.

Our consultants know how important it is to receive personalised prostate cancer care. This means considering what’s important to you, whether that’s being close to home, minimising side effects, and offering the best possible outcomes.

What risks might my procedure have?

Like any procedure, prostate surgery can have risks or side effects. 

These include:

  • Still having cancer after surgery – surgery is not always successful, as sometimes the cancer has spread undetected before the procedure
  • Incontinence – this usually improves with time, but around 2 in 100 people have continued incontinence that requires wearing a pad
  • Erectile dysfunction – this may just be short term, but if you do find that you struggle to get an erection after surgery, you’ll receive lots of advice and support from our team
  • Dry orgasms – this is when you don’t produce semen during orgasm, but you will still have the sensation of an orgasm
  • Bladder neck stenosis – a scar around the entrance to your bladder, which reduces the flow of urine
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI) – an infection of the bladder, which needs to be treated quickly with antibiotics
  • Rectal injury – very rarely, the bowel can be injured and a fistula can occur

How will I find out the results of my operation

Within 4 weeks of after leaving the hospital, your consultant will share your results with you at a follow-up appointment.

This includes the type of cancer found in your prostate and the results of your blood tests showing whether the surgery worked.

After this, you’ll attend regular appointments to measure your PSA levels and check your cancer has not returned.

If your PSA levels are rising after surgery, you could still have prostate cancer. In this case, you may have a PSMA PET scan. This is an advanced scan that can accurately detect prostate cancer cells, in the prostate or elsewhere in the body.

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How can we help?

Get in touch with our friendly team to find out more about tests or treatment, or to book an appointment with an expert consultant near you.