A cystectomy is surgery to remove all or part of the bladder. There are two types:
You may need this to treat:
Problems may happen. Your doctor will review some problems, such as:
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage things that may raise your risk of problems, such as:
Your risk of problems is higher if you have had surgery in the belly or pelvis or have had radiation therapy.
You may need to take antibiotics to block infection. You may also need to take laxatives to empty your bowels.
The night before, you may be told not to eat and to only drink clear liquids. Your doctor may not want you to eat or drink after midnight or on the morning of the surgery. Make sure you know what to do.
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some up to one week before surgery.
General anesthesia is given before surgery. You will be asleep.
A cut will be made in the abdomen. It will let the doctor view the bladder. In a radical cystectomy, all blood vessels to the bladder will be cut. The bladder will be removed. The doctor may also remove nearby lymph nodes, part of the tube that carries urine from the bladder, and any nearby organs. In men, these organs are the prostate and glands that help make semen. . In women, they are the uterus, ovaries, and, vagina.
The doctor will also need to make a new way for urine to leave the body. A new bladder may be built. This can be done using pieces of intestine. Or, an external bag may be attached to the belly ( urostomy).
In a partial cystectomy, only part of the bladder will be removed.
Either procedure can be done by laparoscopic or robotic-assisted laparoscopic techniques using a number of smaller cuts and a camera.
About three to six hours
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain after can be managed with medicines.
The usual length of stay is 5 to 12 days. The length of time you stay will depend on your health and the reason for surgery. Your doctor may also choose to keep you longer if you have problems.
During your stay, staff will take steps to lower your chance of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to lower your chance of infection, such as:
You may have to limit some of your activities while you get better. This may take 4 to 6 weeks. Home care may mean:
Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Alert your doctor to any problems right away. Call your doctor if you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Urological Association
Public Health Agency of Canada
Treating bladder cancer. Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network website. Available at: https://www.bcan.org/treatments/. Accessed July 30, 2018.
Aboumarzouk OM, Drewa T, Olejniczak P, Chlosta PL. Laparoscopic radical cystectomy: A 5-year review of a single institute's operative data and complications and a systematic review of the literature. Int Braz J Urol. 2012;38(3):330-340.
Liss MA, Kader AK. Robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical cystectomy: history, techniques and outcomes. World J Urol. 2013;31(3):489-497.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kathleen A. Barry, MD Last Updated: 7/30/2018