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Surgery for Bladder Cancer Treatment: Types, Risks, and Recovery


The burden of cancer affects the patient as well as their families. A recent report by the Indian Council of Medical Research has revealed that bladder cancer has a rare incidence as compared to other cancers in India. The GLOBOCAN 2020 database pointed out that bladder cancer ranks at the 17th position among the most common forms of cancer in India.

Prominent risk factors for bladder cancer points to the urgency of finding effective bladder cancer treatment methods. One of the most popular methods of treatment for bladder cancer is surgery. Let us learn more about the different options in surgical procedures for treating bladder cancer and their risks.

Treatment Methods Recommended for Bladder Cancer

The first thing you need to know about treatment for bladder cancer is the outline of different methods for treating cancer. Patients with bladder cancer could have different needs and conditions for treatment. Doctors recommend a suitable bladder cancer treatment plan according to the overall health and diagnosis of the patient.

Patients should consult with the doctor and understand specific goals for treatment, particularly with a shared decision-making approach. The general approaches to treatment for bladder cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and combination therapy.

Moreover, doctors may suggest combination therapy for treating bladder cancer. What could be the best method for fighting against bladder cancer? One of the common answers to such questions would point to surgery. Surgical procedures help remove cancer cells, thereby providing a better prognosis for the treatment. However, patients must know about the implications of each type of bladder cancer surgery and its risks. It can help in making informed choices, particularly with attention to long-term side effects in surgery.

What Are The Types of Surgery for Bladder Cancer?

The popular methods of surgery for treating bladder cancer include transurethral resection of bladder tumours or TURBT and cystectomy. Both surgeries have risks and could have a different impact on different people. Here is an overview of surgical procedures for treating bladder cancer.

  • Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor

The TURBT, or transurethral resection, is a surgical, diagnostic process for determining the presence of bladder cancer. It is a powerful tool for bladder cancer treatment as it helps in finding whether the cancer has spread to other areas of the bladder walls. Doctors recommend TURBT in the case of early-stage bladder cancers which have not infiltrated into the muscles of the bladder wall.

TURBT surgery involves passing an instrument through the urethra, thereby avoiding the need to cut the abdomen. The instrument, a resectoscope, is a thin device with a wire loop at its end, which helps remove abnormal tumours or tissues. Doctors can recommend repeated TURBT procedures for removing the tumour completely. In addition, you can also perform specialised procedures in TURBT surgery, such as the destruction of cancer cells with a high-energy laser.

Patients should expect side effects after the TURBT surgical procedure. For example, patients can experience pain and bleeding in the urinary tract. The recovery period after TURBT surgery for bladder cancer is generally one to two weeks. However, you might have to prepare for other side effects, such as incontinence or frequent urination due to frequent repetitions of the TURBT procedure.

  • Cystectomy

Another surgical procedure recommended for bladder cancer treatment is cystectomy. It is recommended in cases of invasive bladder cancer that demand the complete removal of the bladder or a part of it. The two types of cystectomy recommended for bladder cancer surgery include partial cystectomy and radical cystectomy. Partial cystectomy is useful for bladder cancer that has not metastasized to other areas of the body. On the other hand, radical cystectomy involves the removal of the bladder alongside the nearby lymph nodes.

Patients should also notice that cystectomy requires reconstructive surgery, especially after radical cystectomy. Reconstructive surgery techniques such as continent and incontinent diversion and neobladder surgery can help in recovering from cystectomy with desired health benefits. The common risks associated with cystectomy include reactions to anesthesia, damage to the nearby organs, bleeding, and infection.

Do You Need Experts for Bladder Cancer Surgery?

The complexity of the two popular surgical procedures for treating bladder cancer shows that you need expert consultation and treatment. You can find reliable services for the treatment of bladder cancer at BLK Max Hospital with a team of trained and experienced urologists and oncologists. With access to a multi-disciplinary healthcare ecosystem, BLK Max Hospital can deliver the right answers to every need of the patient.


A bladder cancer diagnosis can induce a stressful experience for patients, which affects their treatment experience. On the other hand, qualified doctors can help in coping with treatment for bladder cancer through unique and personalized strategies. Learn more about bladder cancer and the ways to identify it earlier.

Read: Symptom And Side Effect Management For Bladder Cancer Patients Through Supportive Care

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