RADICAL PROSTATECTOMY EXTERNAL BEAM RADIATION THERAPY SEED IMPLANT BRACHYTHERAPY
SIDE EFFECTS (EXPECTED effects of
treatment if no complications)
 
time required one operation 43 daily treatment one operation
time off work 3-4 weeks none 2 days
 
surgical procedure major none minor
anesthesia needed 3-4 hours none 30-40 minutes
hospitalization 2-5 days none 4 hours
pain postoperative none minimal
surgical scar(s) yes none none
urinary frequency while recovering 2 months 4 months
burning no mild moderate
bowel frequency no common unlikely
anal discomfort no common unlikely
fatigue common during recovery uncommon during treatment no
 
COMPLICATIONS (unlikely but POSSIBLE acute problems, or long-term effects of treatment)
 
bleeding (postoperative) x    
infection (postoperative) x    
anesthetic complications x   x
pulmonary embolus (blood clot) x    
incontinence of urine x   x
rectal bleeding   x  
anal discomfort   x  
urinary urgency/burning   x x
urinary stricture x x  
 
LOSS OF POTENCY (if fully potent initially)
 
total loss 100% initially; 40-60% recover possible, later possible, later
erectile dysfunction frequent in those who recover frequent (over several years) frequent (over several years)
scant ejaculate yes yes yes