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 in the U.S. today. (1)

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

Approaches to this procedure include traditional open surgery, conventional laparoscopic surgery and robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery.

With a traditional open procedure, your surgeon uses an 8-10 inch incision to access the prostate.

Conventional laparoscopy uses a specialized surgical camera 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.

Robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery is the most advanced method of surgical removal of the prostate. It is a minimally invasive procedure for early stage cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate. St. Luke's recently acquired the daVinci surgical system, which allows physicians more precision and control.

Read more about da Vinci® prostatectomy.


  1. The National Prostate Cancer Coalition: home/treatment & research/treatment options/surgery

While clinical studies support the effectiveness of the da Vinci® System when used in minimally invasive surgery, individual results may vary. Surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.

For additional information on minimally invasive surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System visit

  • Urologic Surgery
  • Boise and Meridian Medical Centers