Comparing CyberKnife & Surgery

A radical prostatectomy is a surgical procedure to remove cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate. CyberKnife may provide patients a non-surgical alternative to a radical prostatectomy.

Type of Procedure

CyberKnife Radiosurgery

No incision - delivers radiation like brachytherapy from outside the body to treat cancer inside the body

Radical Prostatectomy Surgery

Surgery (may not be appropriate for patients of advanced age or those with multiple medical conditions); may be traditional surgery or less invasive surgery using da Vinci Surgical System


Treatment Settings

Hospitaly Stay


CyberKnife Radiosurgery

Outpatient treatment - no hospital stay

No anesthesia

Radical Prostatectomy Surgery

Hospital stay

General anesthesia

Accuracy/Damage to Surrounding Tissue

CyberKnife Radiosurgery

Sub-millimeter accuracy that protects surrounding structures and tissues 

Radical Prostatectomy Surgery

Removes the entire prostate while trying to spare muscles and nerves that control urination and sexual function

Recovery/Side Effects

CyberKnife Radiosurgery

No recovery time; patient quickly resumes normal activities

Radical Prostatectomy Surgery

Pain associated with surgery; post-operative recovery time; erectile dysfunction; radiation therapy may be required after surgery


CyberKnife Radiosurgery

Research at the Swedish Radiosurgery Center and elsewhere are showing excellent PSA responses and low rates of recurrence. Longer follow-up is needed to confirm these findings.

Radical Prostatectomy Surgery

High cure/survival rates in favorable-risk patients

Radical Prostatectomy

A radical prostatectomy is a surgical treatment for cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate. The patient may be under general or spinal anesthesia. The surgeon removes the prostate and possibly the lymph nodes while trying to spare the nerves that would affect erectile functions. Because the surgeon must cut the urethra, which runs through the center of the prostate gland, and reattach it after removing the prostate, the patient will have a catheter for several days. The patient typically will remain in the hospital for 2-4 days, and will have a recovery time of about 12 weeks.

A radical prostatectomy often cures prostate cancer. After the procedure, a few men (less that 3%) are incontinent of urine, while about 50% lose erectile function.