Bladder cancer surgery is a treatment option that an oncologist will likely consider following a thorough evaluation of the extent, stage and molecular makeup of a bladder tumor, as well as a patient’s overall health. While chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or intravesical therapy may be recommended to attempt to destroy cancer cells and shrink a tumor, most bladder cancer patients are treated initially with surgery.
Bladder cancer surgery options at Moffitt
At Moffitt Cancer Center, patients can feel confident that they have access to the most comprehensive and innovative treatments available. Through our highly streamlined process, each patient’s treatment plan is developed and carried out by a multispecialty team of experts. For added convenience, all of the therapies we provide, including bladder cancer surgery, are administered in a single location.
The highly skilled surgeons at Moffitt are experienced in performing several different types of bladder cancer surgery, including:
- Transurethral surgery (TUR) – For early-stage, noninvasive bladder cancers, a TUR (removal) of a bladder tumor can sometimes be performed with a resectoscope (a rigid cystoscope that is inserted into the bladder through the urethra). Residual cancer cells may be treated with fulguration (burning with a high-energy laser).
- Segmental cystectomy – Small tumors that have invaded the muscle in only one part of the bladder can sometimes be removed along with the cancerous portion of the bladder wall and nearby lymph nodes. The remaining portion of the bladder is then sealed so that it will still function.
- Radical cystectomy with extended lymph node dissection – For extensive tumors that affect more than one part of the bladder, the entire bladder and surrounding lymph nodes can be removed along with the prostate gland in men, and the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and a portion of the vagina in women.
- Reconstructive surgery – If a patient’s bladder is removed, a surgeon may also perform a urinary diversion procedure to create a new way for the body to store and pass urine.
- Robotic surgery - A highly experienced surgeon operates robotic instruments while maintaining complete control of the operation. This type of surgery results in smaller incisions and less noticeable scarring.
Why choose Moffitt for bladder cancer surgery?
At Moffitt, we encourage our bladder cancer patients to consider enrolling in appropriate clinical trials early on so that they can benefit from groundbreaking therapies as soon as they become available. Recognized by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, Moffitt is an established leader in cancer research, and we offer a robust clinical trials program. Our scientists and clinicians are continually discovering new treatments and finding better ways to perform bladder cancer surgery, broadening our knowledge base with every passing day. By providing our patients with outstanding treatments and support, we are able to accomplish that which was previously considered impossible.