Open radical prostatectomy

Surgery to remove the prostate gland

An operation to treat localised prostate cancer by removing the entire prostate gland and some surrounding tissue


Open radical prostatectomy is a common surgery to treat prostate cancer that hasn't spread beyond the prostate. The prostate gland, along with a small amount of surrounding tissue, is completely removed.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Open radical prostatectomy is usually done under general anaesthetic. This means you'll be asleep during the procedure. Your surgeon will make a cut in your abdomen between your navel and pubic bone. Your prostate gland will be removed — often along with the seminal vesicles (small tubes that sit on top of the prostate and carry semen). Your surgeon may also remove the lymph nodes near your prostate so these can be analysed to make sure the cancer hasn't spread. A radical prostatectomy can sometimes be done through a small incision between the anus and scrotum, but this is less common. Your surgeon will recommend the best procedure for you.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will tell you how to prepare for surgery and answer any questions you may have. If you're having general anaesthetic, you may be told not to eat or drink for several hours before the procedure. You should arrange for someone to take you home after your operation and hospital stay. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    During the procedure, a catheter will be put in place to drain urine from your bladder during the healing process. This will remain in place for several days following surgery. You will be cared for in hospital for a few days following your operation. Your consultant will let you know how long you can expect to stay in hospital.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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