“..In the most common type of surgery, known as retropubic prostatectomy, an incision is made in the abdomen and the prostate is cut out from behind the pubic bone…the urethra, the narrow tube runs the length of the penis and that carries urine from the bladder out of the body, runs directly through the prostate on its way out of the bladder. Therefore, after removing the prostate the surgeon must stitch the urethra directly to the bladder so urine is once again able to flow...” (Prostate Cancer Foundation – Pg. 21) “…To measure success, we consider how likely a man is to be cured of cancer and to recover completely normal urinary and sexual function after surgery. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the answer is 60%.....Many more men return to near normal with only minimal effects of urinary or sexual function. Often, these problems can be overcome with modern treatments…..” (Scardino – Pg. 259) 

 Survivor Stories Heading

Yes........it was a long operation....five hours on the operating table to be sure the prostate, adjoining glands and the cancer was cut out of my body. I have been told most radical prostatectomies are done in three to four hours. Dr. Carroll had to cut very carefully because there is one 'positive margin', that is, one microscopic escape which may well be devoured by natural body forces. If not, there are a variety of approaches they can take, with a positive outcome. I have to add, every person I met at U.C.S.F., no matter where he/she fit in the organization is a true professional; remarkable achievement in effective management.

James F. Girand


I looked at all of the seven options for treatment. I decided on surgery since I had a great urologist and I wanted to get it over with rather than 7 weeks of radiation. They generally don’t like to operate on men over 70 but I was in good shape. Also you can have radiation after surgery but not visa versa. I found the two books and web site very useful. (A Primer on Prostate Cancer by Strum) and (Report to Nation on Prostate Cancer from PCF) and web site of prostate Cancer Research Foundation (PCRI) Dr. Scholz three part articles on newly diagnosed prostate cancer. Radical retropubic prostatectomy performed in February 2007 - overnight in hospital and one week on catheter.  

73 year old male
December 30, 2007