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Many patients come to Santis having already decided to have their prostate removed, which is known as a radical prostatectomy. Professor Christopher Eden has performed nearly 4,000 radical prostatectomies, and his skill in nerve preservation means that our patient results in terms of cancer survival, potency and continence are among the best in the world.

Why should I choose Santis?

Professor Eden pioneered radical prostatectomy in the UK, performing the very first operation together in 2001, paving the way for mass-adoption of the technique throughout the world. As such, he is highly experienced in practising the technique, which for patients means that they will receive the best result possible.

16 years after the first radical prostatectomy and with the recent introduction of the da Vinci surgical robot, Santis continues to push the boundaries of the operation, including advanced nerve-sparing techniques. We were also the first private clinic in the UK to introduce the new Retzius-sparing technique, which our published research has shown to dramatically improve continence after surgery. It has been so successful that it is now our default technique, and we have more experience than any other UK clinic in it.

Learn more about Retzius-sparing radical prostatectomy

What does a radical prostatectomy involve?

We exclusively perform robotically-assisted radical prostatectomies (more commonly known as RARP, or keyhole surgery). This involves removing the prostate using five 1cm incisions in the lower abdomen, being careful not to damage the bundles of tiny nerves that control erections. The small incisions mean that patients can expect to recover far more quickly than with open surgery, where a much larger incision is required.

In patients with more aggressive and/or advanced prostate cancers, the lymph nodes that drain the prostate on either side will also be removed to complete the staging and to improve the cure rate.

Learn what happens on the day of the operation

Who is a radical prostatectomy suitable for?

It’s suitable for men with low, intermediate and high-risk prostate cancer and there is also some suggesting that it may benefit men with limited metastatic prostate cancer i.e. those in whom it has spread to 5 or fewer sites, but this remains to be confirmed by ongoing clinical trials.

Why use a robot?

Using a robot is beneficial for three reasons. Firstly, the HD cameras allow the surgeon unparalleled visibility into the abdomen so he can perform at the highest level. Secondly, the range of motion offered by the robot is greater than human hand, which is ideal for the delicate movements required when removing the prostate. Finally, it reassures our patients that we are committed to using the very latest technology in delivering their care.

Read more about the robot Meet the team Read patient testimonials

“I feel that my post-operative, rapid recovery is because I have enjoyed the benefit of being operated on by Professor Eden, who has been described in the media as ‘probably the leader in the field of keyhole radical prostatectomy’.”

Mr. Les Salvidge

“A lot of surgeons say that they can do nerve-sparing surgery but their patients’ potency rates tell a different story. There’s a very strong correlation between surgical experience and successful nerve preservation - in other words, potency.”

Professor Christopher Eden

Watch Professor Eden explain why he recommends prostate cancer surgery

Surgery is usually the best option for patients, and here is why:

Reason 1: Certainty

It provides definitive information about the stage (extent) and grade (aggressiveness) of the tumour, because after the operation, the prostate is sent to a lab for final analysis - from which the prognosis can be accurately determined. Surgery also removes the possibility of radiotherapy-induced rectal and bladder cancer.

Reason 2: A safety net

It leaves in reserve two further powerful treatment options if the cancer recurs: radiotherapy and hormonal therapy. Cancer recurrence after surgery can be promptly identified by the PSA blood test and salvage treatment is generally very well tolerated and effective. The reverse is not true if radiotherapy (including brachytherapy) is used as the primary treatment.

Reason 3: Surgeon-specific results

Cancer control, continence and potency results are much better when the surgery is done by high-volume surgeons. Having your operation performed by a high-volume surgeon should allow you to combine the certainty of surgery, the preservation of a treatment safety net if needed and good cancer control, continence and potency.

Prostate Cancer Information Centre

The Prostate Cancer Information Centre is an online resource created by experts to help you understand prostate cancer better, with articles, videos and advice published several times a week.

Visit the Prostate Cancer Information Centre