Surgery to remove the prostate is most commonly an option for men with early prostate cancer where the cancer has not spread beyond the prostate gland. It is sometimes also an option for men with Stage III or IV prostate cancer and can involve removing the two appendages attached to the under surface of the prostate called the seminal vesicles, as well as the lymph nodes which drain the prostate. This surgery is called radical prostatectomy.

Sometimes when a surgeon begins this procedure and finds that prostate cancer cells have spread to nearby lymph nodes, which is an indication that the disease may have spread to other parts of the body, the surgeon may decide not to complete the surgery by removing the prostate and will instead suggest other types of treatment.

There are several methods for performing radical prostatectomy. Each type has benefits and risks. Following surgery a patient will experience discomfort for a few days or weeks. The recovery time will depend on the surgery and the overall health and activity level of the patient. Side effects of the surgery can include incontinence, impotence, the inability to produce semen and erectile dysfunction.