Surgery for Prostate Cancer

Surgery for prostate cancer allows the complete removal of the cancer while preserving healthy tissue. Our surgeons are experienced in tissue-sparing methods to remove the cancer while preserving long-term urinary and sexual function. Choosing surgery for prostate cancer depends on several key factors, including your stage of prostate cancer and overall health. Physicians at Fox Chase recommend the best surgical approach for each patient and discuss all treatment options with their patients.

Fox Chase's highly-skilled surgeons specialize in both robotic-assisted laparoscopic and conventional open nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer treatment. Additional options include cryosurgery and clinical trials.

Following surgery, world-class pathologists at Fox Chase assess the prostate tissue and pelvic lymph nodes, allowing them to more accurately assess prostate cancer staging. This additional information can help physicians determine the prognosis and direct the need for additional therapies such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy.

Robotic-assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy

Robotic-assisted laparoscopic (da Vinci) surgery offers similar or better outcomes than conventional open surgery and is less invasive. While its technological advantages are significant, your surgeon's skill and experience remain the most important elements for achieving superior surgical outcomes. Fox Chase Cancer Center surgeons utilize the second generation da Vinci® S robotic surgical system, the newest and most advanced minimally-invasive surgical instrument available today. Fox Chase is the only hospital in the Delaware Valley that offers the da Vinci® S surgical system for prostate cancer treatment.

During this surgery, surgeons insert a small camera and specialized surgical instruments in the patient's lower abdomen. The camera allows the surgeon to see the prostate and surrounding structures at 10x magnification. Because this is a comparatively blood-less surgery, the surgeon has a clear view of the prostate and the vital surrounding structures, allowing for greater surgical precision. Upon completion of the operation, the surgeon removes the prostate and surrounding pelvic lymph nodes through the small incisions in the lower abdomen.

Conventional "open" nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy

Surgeons at Fox Chase have extensive experience performing nerve-sparing radical retropubic prostatectomy using an "open" surgical approach to remove the prostate and surrounding pelvic lymph nodes. Retropubic prostatectomy provides the best chance of sparing the urethra (tube that carries urine) to preserve the ability to urinate normally and the nerves and blood vessels responsible for normal erection of the penis.


In certain circumstances, Fox Chase surgeons offer options for men whose prostate cancer has returned after initial treatment with radiation therapy. Cryosurgery (also called salvage prostate cryoablation) is a procedure that kills the cancer by freezing the cells with a small metal tool placed in the tumor.

Following any surgery, Fox Chase pathologists assess the prostate tissue and pelvic lymph nodes, allowing them to more accurately stage the prostate cancer. This additional information can help your doctors determine the prognosis and need for additional therapies such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy.