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Bladder Cancer Surgery
Advanced and robot-assisted surgery options for bladder cancer.
For most patients, surgery is the standard treatment for bladder cancer and requires highly skilled surgeons. At Henry Ford, bladder cancer is our entire focus. Our surgeons are among the most experienced in the country for robotic surgery, pioneering bladder-saving treatment options and specializing in nerve-sparing procedures to preserve urinary and sexual function.
With minimally invasive robotic surgery, our patients experience faster recovery times, and less discomfort, blood loss and scaring.
What type of bladder cancer surgery do I need?
The type of bladder cancer surgery you need depends on many factors, including whether the cancer is located only on the bladder’s surface layers (superficial, or non-invasive) or has invaded the bladder muscle (invasive).
- Superficial bladder cancer: Most patients are diagnosed with non-invasive bladder cancer. If you have superficial bladder cancer, we can surgically remove just the tumor and leave the rest of the bladder intact, using an endoscopy technique. With no incision involved.
- Transurethral Resection (TUR): In this surgery, your doctor used an endoscope to scrape the cancer off the surface layer of your bladder. Your doctor might also fulgurate off the cancer as well. TUR can be part of a treatment plan that includes one or more of the following: chemotherapy, immunotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
Surgical options to treat bladder cancer
Our team offers several effective surgical options to treat your bladder cancer. Those include both minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery, and traditional open surgery techniques.
- Robot-assisted cystectomy: This surgical technique involves your doctor using a robot-assisted surgical system to remove the bladder. The system provides a three-dimensional view of the surgical area and increases your doctor’s precision and control. For men, this procedure will include removal of your bladder, prostate and lymph nodes; for women, removal of the bladder, uterus, fallopian tubes, and in some patients, ovaries and part of the vaginal wall. Cystecomy may also be performed using a traditional open surgery technique. Bladder reconstruction will take place during this procedure.
- Partial cystectomy: This surgery removes only part of the bladder, preserving bladder function. It is most appropriate for patients with isolated high-grade superficial bladder cancer or muscle invasive bladder cancer that is limited to one area of the bladder.
- Transurethral Resection (TUR): In this surgery, a thin tool with a wire loop is put through the urethra and into the bladder. This tool, called a resectoscope, is used to scrape the cancer off the surface layer of your bladder. Your doctor might also burn off the cancer with an electrical current. TUR can be used for both superficial and invasive bladder cancers. TUR is typically part of a treatment plan that includes one or more of the following: chemotherapy, immunotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
What are the benefits of robotic bladder cancer surgery?
As a minimally invasive treatment option, there are several benefits of robotic surgery for bladder cancer treatment, including:
- Better cancer treatment
- Faster return to normal activities
- Fewer complications after surgery
- Less blood loss
- Less scarring
- A shorter hospital stay