The current study assessed the decision-making process before surgery in prostate cancer patients. A structured telephone interview was conducted by an independent third party in 162 consecutive patients who underwent surgery for prostate cancer. Responders revealed that details regarding diagnosis and treatment alternatives were withheld from a significant number of patients. Radiation and active surveillance were presented as alternative options to surgery in 57 (39%) and 20 (14%) of responders, respectively. Twenty-six (18%) patients reported not being informed regarding potential surgical side effects. Patients were not active participants in critical aspects of decision making in 61 (42%) of the cases. Being inadequately informed and more frequent visits to the urologist appeared to make decisions more difficult. Treatment regret was reported by 23 (16%) of the patients who underwent surgery and was more common when the patient was not involved in the decision or was inadequately informed. As such, shared decision making should replace paternalism when managing patients with localized prostate cancer in urologic practice.