This may also be called transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT). In this
surgery, all of the cancer in your bladder is taken out. But your whole bladder isn't
removed. This type of surgery may be done if the cancer is only in the lining of your
bladder. This may be called superficial cancer. TUR can also be done to diagnose
bladder cancer and find out how deep it has spread into the bladder wall.
You stay in the hospital for this surgery. After you get to the operating room,
you'll be given anesthesia medicine to prevent pain. You may get a local anesthesia.
This keeps you from feeling what's going on, but you’re still awake. Or you may get
general anesthesia. This puts you to sleep and keeps you from feeling pain. You won't
need to have any cuts (incisions) made in your skin to get this treatment. It's done
using a special tool called a cystoscope.
The cystoscope is a thin, lighted tube. The urologist puts it in through your
urethra and moves it up into your bladder. Using the cystoscope, he or she looks at
the inside of your bladder, usually on a computer screen. If bladder cancer is seen,
he or she will use a special tiny attachment at the end of the cystoscope to cut out
the tumor. After the cancer has been taken out, the area may be burned. Or your
healthcare provider may use a laser to kill any cancer cells that may be left behind
at that spot. All of this is done through the cystoscope.
You may be able to go home the same day. Or you may stay in the hospital a day or so
after TUR. A soft tube (catheter) is left in your urethra after the procedure. The
tube drains the urine from your bladder. It prevents blockage of your urethra. It
also helps stop bleeding and gives your bladder time to heal. It will be taken out
when the bleeding stops. Your bladder will then work the way it did before
You may feel the need to urinate more often when the catheter is first removed. You
may feel a little pain when you urinate. There may also be blood or even clots in
your urine. These problems are normal and go away after a day or two. Call your
urologist if you have a lot of pain or bleeding, or if the pain or bleeding doesn't
get better within a few days.
There's a good chance that you won't have any cancer left after TUR. But you'll
still need to see your urologist every 3 to 6 months. Superficial bladder cancer
often comes back. In some cases, TUR may be followed by some type of intravesical
therapy. For this treatment, a medicine such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy is put
right into your bladder for a certain amount of time.
In follow-up visits, your
urologist will look at the inside of your bladder with a cystoscope. This is called a
cystoscopy. It uses a thin, lighted tube that's like the one that was used for the
TUR. It's put into your bladder through your urethra. You’ll also give urine samples
for testing. These tests are done to make sure the cancer hasn't come back or to find
it early if it does.