Radical Prostatectomy

A radical prostatectomy is the removal of the entire prostate, the seminal vesicles, the tissue immediately surrounding them, and some of their associated pelvic lymph nodes.

Because prostate cancer may be scattered throughout the prostate gland in an unpredictable way, the entire prostate must be removed so that cancer cells are not left behind. The pelvic lymph nodes are small oval or round bodies located along blood vessels and filter lymphatic fluid. When prostate cancer begins to grow and spread, the pelvic lymph nodes are one of the first locations (typically prostate cancer spreads to the soft tissues surrounding the prostate capsule, then to the seminal vesicles, then to the lymph nodes and then to the bones and other organs of the body). There are many other lymph nodes, so the body will not be compromised by the removal of these few lymph nodes.

More Information

Information courtesy of: American Urological Association Foundation.