Types of surgery for advanced prostate cancer

Some men are offered surgery for advanced prostate cancer. The aim of the surgery is to help with symptoms rather than to treat the cancer.

Before the operation, the surgeon (a urologist) will explain what will happen and tell you about any possible side effects.

Subcapsular orchidectomy

This is an operation to remove part of the testicles. The aim is to reduce the level of the male hormone testosterone in the body. It is not commonly used because hormonal therapy treatment is usually very effective at lowering the testosterone levels.

We have more information about orchidectomy.

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

Your doctor may offer you a TURP if the cancer is blocking the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder). The aim of the surgery is to remove the blockage, which can help with problems passing urine (peeing).

We have more information about TURP.

Percutaneous nephrostomy and JJ stent

In some men, the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder (ureters) may get blocked by the prostate cancer. If this happens, you may be offered one of the following types of surgery:

  • Percutaneous nephrostomy – The doctor puts a tube into the kidney that goes into a bag that sits outside on the skin. Urine can then drain into the bag.
  • JJ stent – This is a fine tube that is put into the ureter. The JJ stent opens up the ureter so urine can flow freely through it.

Your doctor or specialist nurse can give you more information about these types of surgery.

Strengthening a weakened bone

In some men, advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the bones may cause problems that need treating. If there is a risk of a bone breaking, your doctor may advise surgery to strengthen or repair the bone.

Going home after surgery

If you think you might have difficulties coping at home after your surgery, tell your nurse or social worker when you are admitted to hospital. They can arrange help for when you go home.

Social workers can offer practical advice and valuable support to you and your family. If you would like to talk to a social worker, ask your nurse or doctor to arrange this for you.

Before you leave hospital, you will be given an appointment at an outpatient clinic for your post-operative check-up. This is a good time to talk about any problems you may have.

About our information

  • References

    Below is a sample of the sources used in our prostate cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at cancerinformationteam@macmillan.org.uk

    European Association of Urologists. Guidelines on Prostate Cancer. 2016.

    European Society for Medical Oncology. Cancer of the prostate: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. 2015.

    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Prostate cancer overview. Available from: pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/prostate-cancer (accessed from March 2017 to November 2017).

    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Surveillance report 2016. Prostate cancer: diagnosis and management (2014). NICE guideline CG175. 2016.

  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editors, Dr Jim Barber, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Dr Lisa Pickering, Consultant Medical Oncologist.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.

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