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What should I expect from a cystectomy procedure?

A cystectomy is a surgical procedure, performed to remove part or all of the bladder.

Bladder removal surgery, also called cystectomy, is performed to remove the urinary bladder, the surgeon creating a new pathway for urine to leave the body. Cystectomy is mainly used to treat bladder cancer.

Things to know about the postoperative period

Patients need to be prepared before going into cystectomy and set reasonable expectations of their post-surgery life.

There are two options for cystectomy:

  • Partial cystectomy - when the cancer is located in only one spot on the bladder wall, and it has not spread
  • Radical cystectomy - removal of the entire bladder along with the surrounding lymph nodes, and possibly other organs.

After cystectomy you may experience the following symptoms:

  • sore belly - you will probably need pain medicine for 1 to 2 weeks.
  • your urostomy will be swollen and tender for the first period - this usually improves after 2-3 weeks.
  • you can have blood in your urine or your urine’s color might be light pink for the first 3 weeks after the procedure.

Doctors may also remove the prostate, part of the sperm duct and the glands that secrete the semen when performing cystectomy on male patients. When female patients undergo radical cystectomy, the surgeons may also remove parts of the vagina, the ovaries, the uterus, the fallopian tubes, and the cervix. The patient is under general anesthesia during the operation.

The patient is released from the hospital only when the new urine evacuation system functions correctly. It will take several weeks to recover after leaving the hospital.

You will feel some discomfort after the surgery and you will be given the necessary medicine to control it. You might have fluid drainage from your urethra.

It is possible to have an additional treatment such as radiation therapy or immunotherapy following this procedure.

After cystectomy, it’s important to participate in the follow-up care program recommended by your doctor.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/