Is there a risk of death during prostate surgery?

As with any major surgery, death during prostate surgery is possible, although rare (1 to 20 out of 1,000). It is usually related to the general anesthetic used or to a cardiovascular complication. Other serious nonfatal post-operative complications may occur in about 4 to 7 out of every 100 procedures. These include cardiovascular events, thromboembolisms and serious infections. They are more common at older ages, especially over 70. Permanent rectal injuries may also occur in about 3 out of 100 procedures.

There is also the chance that surgery will not remove all of the cancer. Surgeons can never be completely sure that they were able remove all of the cancerous cells. The chance of some cancer cells being missed and the recurring in men who thought it had all been removed during surgery is about 20 to 30 out of 100. Those whose tumors are not fully removed with surgery require further treatment with radiation or chemotherapy.

Continue Learning about Prostate Cancer Treatment

Double-Punch Treatment Best for Prostate Cancer
Double-Punch Treatment Best for Prostate Cancer
Love him or hate him, the fact is that heavyweight champ Mike Tyson won his first 19 professional bouts with knockouts—12 of them in the first round—b...
Read More
Are there alternative treatments for prostate cancer?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Although no alternative treatments will cure prostate cancer, there are options to help you cope wit...
More Answers
How is radiation therapy used to treat prostate cancer?
Dr. Michael S. McGuire, MDDr. Michael S. McGuire, MD
Radiation causes prostate cancer cells to die. It can be delivered in pellets placed directly in the...
More Answers
Can Grape Seed Extract Help Treat Prostate Cancer?
Can Grape Seed Extract Help Treat Prostate Cancer?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.