A radical cystectomy is a surgery that completely removes the bladder.
This is a major surgery because of the importance of a bladder in your health. Your kidneys distill urine, which is made of waste products, from your bloodstream. This urine passes through your ureters to your bladder, which is a muscular pouch that holds urine before it is released from the body. A tube called the urethra carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
- Because a radical cystectomy removes the bladder, people who have this procedure need another place to collect and store urine.
- Sexual organs and surrounding lymph nodes are also often removed in this procedure.
Who Is a Candidate for Radical Cystectomy?
A radical cystectomy is usually only performed when there is bladder cancer that is unlikely to be treated by any other means. These cancers are generally ones that extend beyond the innermost lining of the bladder or ones that have already spread to neighboring lymph nodes and organs.
A radical cystectomy is a complicated surgery that requires a great deal of expertise. As a result, it is only performed when it is the only way that the patient is likely to survive their bladder cancer.
What to Expect
Most people who have a radical cystectomy are admitted on the day of the procedure. The surgery itself takes six to eight hours. In the surgery, the bladder as well as any infected nearby organs and lymph nodes are removed. In most cases, a small amount of intestine is used to make a neo-bladder, a place where urine can collect before exiting the body.
Most people cannot eat or drink for at least one day after their surgery. They are generally in the hospital for six to eight days after their surgery. Most people leave the hospital with a prescription for pain relief as well as one to relieve any constipation that the pain relief causes.
Why Choose Robot-Assisted Surgery?
Robot-assisted surgeries are often the best choice because they are less invasive and less prone to human error. Six small incisions are made in the lower abdomen to allow ports to be inserted. A small camera, as well as other surgical tools, are inserted through these ports. A human is always in charge and controlling the tools, but a robot does the actual motion. This ensures that human errors, such as a small hand tremor, never affect the success of the procedure.
Although a radical cystectomy is a serious surgery, it often saves lives. Choosing a robot-assisted surgery makes the procedure even safer and less invasive. This surgery offers the short recovery time and lower risk of complications that people need to successfully move on with their lives.