Bladder Cancer/Radical Cystectomy

Radical cystectomy is considered the standard curative treatment for invasive bladder cancer. Cystectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the bladder. It is used to treat bladder cancer that has spread into the bladder wall (stages II and III) or to treat cancer that has come back (recurred) following initial treatment. Radical cystectomy is the removal of the entire bladder, nearby lymph nodes (lymphadenectomy), part of the urethra, and nearby organs that may contain cancer cells.

In men, the prostate, the seminal vesicles, and part of the vas deferens are also removed in this surgery. In women, the cervix, the uterus, the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and part of the vagina are also removed.

Radical Cystectomy usually requires a hospital stay of about 7 to 10 days. You can expect some discomfort during the first few days after surgery. This discomfort is usually controllable with home treatment and medicine. Complete recovery usually takes 6 to 8 weeks.

Following surgery to remove the bladder, your surgeon will create a new channel for urine to pass from your body using reconstructive surgical methods like the continent urinary reservoir, the neobladder, and the ileal conduit.

More treatment may be needed following a radical cystectomy and may include radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Biological therapy may be used after a partial cystectomy for early-stage tumors.

Follow-up for a partial cystectomy includes cystoscopy and urinary exams every 3 to 6 months for at least 2 years, with regular ultrasound, intravenous pyelogram (IVP), or CT scans of the pelvis and abdomen.

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