March 16, 2009 -- Question: What is a radical perineal prostatectomy, and what are the risks/side effects of this procedure?
Answer: A radical prostatectomy involves removal of the entire prostate and surrounding tissues, the seminal vesicles, and oftentimes the lymph nodes. The advantage of the radical prostatectomy is that there is no better way to completely eliminate a cancer that is confined to the prostate than total surgical removal.
Furthermore following a radical prostatectomy, if you've been cured, your PSA should go to the undetectable range and remain there. And finally if your PSA ever goes up after a radical prostatectomy, sometimes it's possible to salvage patients at that point with radiation therapy, as opposed to primary treatment with radiation therapy where it's difficult to salvage them if their PSA ever goes up.