Bladder Cancer Surgery

Urologic surgeon Timothy Donahue

If bladder cancer has not spread to other parts of the body, our doctors will most likely recommend surgery. Our bladder surgeons are among the most highly experienced in the world in using all approaches. They work closely with pathologists, medical oncologists, and many other cancer experts.

We have the depth of knowledge to perform a procedure at the right time, in the right way, and in combination with the right additional therapies. To get you back to normal day-to-day activities as soon as possible, your bladder cancer surgeon will use surgical techniques that can limit your side effects and speed your recovery.

We provide a number of surgical options for people with bladder cancer:

Transurethral Resection (TUR) and Bladder Preservation

Transurethral resection (TUR) is the most common type of surgery for bladder cancer. It is used to treat early-stage bladder cancer that has not grown into the muscle. The surgeon inserts a cystoscope through the urethra (the duct through which urine leaves the body) and into the bladder to remove any tumors. The tumors are then sent to a lab to be examined by a pathologist. The pathologist can help determine whether additional treatment may be needed. After the procedure, you can usually return home the same day or the next day.

TUR alone may be able to eliminate bladder cancer that has not grown into the muscle. However, we may recommend additional treatments to lower the risk of the cancer returning. These may include bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy or intravesical chemotherapy.

Cystectomy, Neobladder, and Urinary Diversion

A cystectomy is surgery to remove the bladder. This procedure is used to treat bladder cancer that has grown into the muscle. A partial cystectomy removes only a portion of the bladder. A radical cystectomy removes the entire bladder as well as nearby lymph nodes and organs that may contain cancer.

During a partial or radical cystectomy, the surgeon may be able to create a new bladder, called a neobladder. It is built from part of the small intestine. If a neobladder is not possible, the surgeon may divert urine through part of the small intestine to an opening on the outside of the abdomen. This is called a stoma.

Urologic surgeon Eugene Cha
Cystectomy, Neobladder, and Urinary Diversion for Bladder Cancer
Learn how we treat muscle-invasive bladder cancer by performing a cystectomy to remove part or all of the bladder.
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Preserving Sexual Health

Sexual health is an important consideration when planning treatment. Our surgeons use approaches to preserve sexual function as much as possible. Our sexual health team is here to provide our full support. We are experts in helping people with cancer manage these side effects.