Bladder cancer surgery is frequently needed to remove all or part of the bladder when cancerous cells are found. There are two basic types of bladder cancer surgery, known as a transurethral resection and a cystectomy. In a transurethral resection, special tools are used to either remove a portion of the bladder tissue for testing or to burn away any cancer cells that are found. A cystectomy is a surgical procedure in which the entire bladder is generally removed. Depending on the type of bladder cancer surgery performed as well as the individual situation, additional medical procedures may need to be done as well.
A transurethral resection is a type of bladder cancer surgery that is commonly used to confirm a suspected diagnosis of cancer. Typically, a small sample of tissue is taken from the bladder to be sent to a laboratory for further testing. If cancer cells are found, they can sometimes be burned away with this same procedure. This is the most common method of treatment for early-stage bladder cancer. In some cases, this procedure may need to be followed with additional cancer treatment options, such as radiation or chemotherapy.
A cystectomy is a type of bladder cancer surgery in which a portion of or the entire urinary bladder is removed. This procedure is generally recommended for later stages of cancer or for cancer that has gone into remission and then returned. In rare cases, only a portion of the bladder may be removed, although it is more common to have the entire bladder removed. When a cystectomy becomes necessary, additional surgical procedures are often needed. Any questions or concerns about the different types of bladder cancer surgery should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
In cases where the bladder has been removed, surgery will involve additional procedures in order to establish an alternate way for urine to pass from the body. This may be in the form of a conduit reservoir or an ileal conduit. A conduit reservoir creates a pouch inside of the body, preventing the need for a bag to be worn outside of the body. A catheter may need to be used in order to release the urine from the body, depending on the type of conduit reservoir used. Creating an ileal conduit involves creating a channel for the urine to pass out of the body into a bag that is worn outside of the body and emptied at regular intervals.