- All Services
- Ann B. Rodriguez Cancer Center
- Comprehensive GI Center
- Diabetes Center
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Emergency Care
- Heart and Vascular Care
- Thoracic Oncology Program
- Pediatric Center
- Reston Therapy & Fitness
- da Vinci Robotics
- Total Joint Center
- Women's Imaging Center
- Women's Services
The gold standard treatment option for men under 70 with early-stage, organ-confined cancer is surgical removal of the prostate using nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy. Prostatectomy is also the most widely used treatment for prostate cancer today in the US.
The primary goal of prostatectomy is removal of the cancer. A secondary goal is to preserve urinary function and -- when applicable -- erectile function. Preservation of the nerves necessary for erections can be an extremely important goal for patients. These nerves run alongside the prostate and are often damaged when removing the prostate. A nerve-sparing prostatectomy attempts to preserve these nerves so that the patient may be able to return to his prior erectile function.
Types of Prostatectomy
- traditional open surgery
- conventional laparoscopic surgery
- da Vinci® Prostatectomy, robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery
With a traditional open procedure, your surgeon uses an 8-10 inch incision to access the prostate. This approach often results in substantial blood loss, a lengthy, uncomfortable recovery and a risk of impotence and incontinence.
Conventional laparoscopy uses a specialized surgical camera and rigid instruments to access and remove the prostate using a series of small incisions. This approach provides your surgeon with better visualization than an open approach. In addition, it provides patients the benefits of a minimally invasive procedure.
Despite these advantages, conventional laparoscopy relies on rigid instruments and standard 2D video, technical limitations that can be challenging for the surgeon. Because of these drawbacks, conventional laparoscopy doesn't lend itself well to complex procedures like prostatectomy. Therefore, very few urologists use this approach for prostatectomy. Moreover, neither laparoscopy nor open surgery can provide adequate visualization for a very precise, nerve-sparing prostatectomy.
Related Health Content
September 1, 2012
A prostatectomy is a surgery to remove the prostate gland. The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It makes and stores the milky fluid that forms part of semen. The gland sits below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The tube that urine flows out through also runs through th ...
March 1, 2013
Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)
Restoring Sexual Function After Prostate Surgery