Risks of prostate surgery
The risks with any type of radical prostatectomy are much like those with any major surgery. Problems during or shortly after the operation can include:
Reactions to anesthesia
Bleeding from the surgery
Blood clots in the legs or lungs
Damage to nearby organs
Infections at the surgery site.
Rarely, part of the intestine might be injured during surgery, which could lead to infections in the abdomen and might require more surgery to correct. Injuries to the intestines are more common with laparoscopic and robotic surgeries than with the open approach.
If lymph nodes are removed, a collection of lymph fluid (called a lymphocele) can form and may need to be drained.
In extremely rare cases, people die because of complications of this operation. Your risk depends, in part, on your overall health, your age, and the skill of your surgical team.
Side effects of prostate surgery
The major possible side effects of radical prostatectomy are urinary incontinence (being unable to control urine) and erectile dysfunction (impotence; problems getting or keeping erections). These side effects can also occur with other forms of prostate cancer treatment. For more on the side effects of surgery and other ttreatments, see the video.