Surgery is a commonly recommended treatment for bladder cancer. The specific approach can vary based on a number of individual factors, such as the stage and location of the tumor. Some procedures, such as a radical cystectomy (the complete removal of the bladder), are more extensive – and therefore considered to be more serious – than others, such as a less invasive transurethral tumor resection. However, the goal of surgery is always the same: to remove as much of the cancer as possible.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, the multispecialty team in our Urologic Oncology Program works closely with each patient to develop an individualized treatment plan for bladder cancer, which may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, intravesical therapy and/or a promising new therapy available through our robust clinical trials program. Through this comprehensive approach, Moffitt helps each patient achieve the best possible outcome and quality of life.
Types of bladder cancer surgery
Moffitt is a high-volume cancer center that treats many patients for bladder cancer. As a result, our surgeons have acquired extensive experience in performing several different types of surgery, including:
- Transurethral surgery – A surgeon removes a tumor by inserting a resectoscope into the bladder through the urethra, then destroys any remaining cancerous cells with a high-energy laser.
- Segmental cystectomy – A surgeon removes a portion of the bladder wall that contains a small tumor, then seals the remainder of the bladder to preserve its function.
- Radical cystectomy with extended lymph node dissection – A surgeon removes the entire bladder and the surrounding lymph nodes along with the prostate gland in men, and the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and a section of the vagina in women.
- Urinary reconstruction and diversion – A surgeon creates a new way for the body to store and pass urine after the bladder has been completely removed.
Designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, Moffitt is a recognized leader in cancer research. Our scientists and clinicians are continually discovering new surgical techniques to help more patients fight and ultimately beat cancer.