Surgical Procedures for Bladder Cancer
- Transurethral bladder tumor resection—The tumor is removed through a flexible, tubelike instrument called a cystoscope that is inserted into the bladder through the urethra.
- Partial cystectomy —The tumor and only part of the bladder are removed through an open abdominal incision.
- Total cystectomy—The tumor and the entire bladder are removed.
- Radical cystectomy—The tumor, the entire bladder, and surrounding lymph nodes and neighboring organs are removed.
Transurethral Bladder Tumor Resection
- Difficulty or pain with urination after your surgery
- Leaking urine after surgery
- More frequent need to urinate—This may occur because your bladder has a smaller capacity after surgery
- Bladder or urethra may be damaged, scarred, or become more narrow after surgery, requiring a corrective procedure
- Surgery may not be able to remove all of the cancer cells that are present, meaning that you will require additional treatment for your tumor
- Numbness, pain, or lack of nerve function, which may occur if nerves in the pelvis are cut during surgery
- The ureters or the area of intestine used to create your urine reservoir may not be completely sealed, allowing urine to leak into your abdomen.
- If you have a partial cystectomy, you may have trouble urinating, you may leak urine for a time after surgery, or you may notice that your bladder has a smaller capacity, requiring you to urinate more frequently.
- Men may be impotent after cystectomy, although newer nerve-sparing techniques may prevent this complication.
- Women who have radical cystectomies will be infertile after their reproductive organs are removed.
- Surgery may not be able to remove all of the cancer cells that are present.
- You’ll need continued fluids and nutrition through an IV until your intestines are functioning normally again.
- You may need to have a tube left in your nose to drain the digestive fluids from your stomach until your intestines are back to normal.
- You may need to have drains left in place for several days or more. These drains are tubes that drain excess fluid that builds up in your abdomen after surgery.
- If you had only part of your bladder removed, you may need to have a urinary catheter left in place for some time. A urinary catheter is a tube to drain urine that is inserted through your urethra and into your bladder.
- If you had your entire bladder removed, you may need to have your urine collect in a bag, either temporarily or permanently.
- or you may have a urinary catheter left in your bladder while you are recovering from surgery without bladder removal.
- If you will be wearing a urine-collection bag either temporarily or permanently, you’ll need to learn how to change the bag.
- If you have had surgery to remove your bladder due to bladder cancer, you will need help learning how to care for the new opening created to allow urine to drain out of your body. This stoma must be carefully cared for to avoid getting an infection and to prevent irritation to the stoma and surrounding skin. There are specially trained nurses and therapists who can help you learn to care for the stoma and change the collection bags.
Bladder cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/bladdercancer/. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Bladder cancer. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=100. Updated March 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.
What you need to know about bladder cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/wyntk/bladder . Updated August 30, 2010. Accessed June 5, 2013.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -
- Update Date: 06/06/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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