Navigate Up

UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
For Journalists
Senior Manager
Telephone: 412-864-4151

Want to Make an Appointment or Need Patient Information?

Contact UPMC at
1-800-533-UPMC (8762).

Go to Find a Doctor to search for a UPMC doctor.​

UPMC Physician Reaches Rare Milestone with 3000th Prostate Surgery

PITTSBURGH, May 1, 2014Joel B. Nelson, M.D., chair of the Department of Urology at UPMC, has performed 3,000 radical prostatectomies since coming to Pittsburgh in 1999. He joins only a handful of surgeons in the world to reach this milestone.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, after skin cancer, with several treatments available for the disease. But often men shy away from surgical treatment because they believe it will leave them incontinent and impotent. Nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy is one of the most effective treatments because the cancer can be removed without harming nerves that control erections.
“The nerve-sparing approach not only removes the cancer but lowers the risk of impotence and bladder control problems, providing a better quality of life for the patient,” said Dr. Nelson. “Our vast experience distinguishes us from other programs and that helps give patients peace of mind when they seek treatment.”  
Dr. Nelson has gained considerable recognition for both his clinical work and research. He has been featured in several publications due to the great strides he has made in the treatment of prostate cancer and is the recipient of multiple awards.
“We have seen remarkable results over the past decade. Currently, about 95 percent of patients undergo a bilateral nerve-sparing procedure with a prostate cancer-specific survival rate of 99.3 percent at five years and 98 percent at 10 years,” Dr. Nelson said.
Dr. Nelson also serves on the editorial boards for several scientific journals, including The Journal of Urology, and is an ad hoc reviewer for several other medical publications, including The New England Journal of Medicine.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |