In some cases when bladder cancer shows signs of more aggressive behaviour, then more intensive treatment options may be offered. Depending on results of scans and group discussion in our Specialist Multi-Disciplinary Team meeting, you may be offered removal of the bladder, or radiotherapy to the area instead.
Both treatments are sometimes combined with chemotherapy. If the tumour has spread, chemotherapy or immunotherapy can be offered to help control the situation. You may be referred on at this stage to an Oncologist for further input therefore.
Surgical removal of the bladder is called a cystectomy. Usually nearby structures such as the prostate in men, or womb (uterus) and ovaries in women are also removed in case they are involved. The issue is then what to do with the urine.
Most patients choose to have an ileal conduit, which is where a small section of the intestine is used to act as a spout to channel the urine into a bag on the skin surface. A few patients if they are suitable can consider a reconstruction of a replacement bladder using a larger section of intestine.
These are more complex and not as frequently preferred in the UK, so you would be referred to London if you chose this option. It would be discussed with you in detail if relevant.
Cystectomy is a complex operation, usually taking several hours, and is now usually carried out in our Trust using the Da Vinci operating robot system.
In this way the surgeon can make much smaller incisions, handle the tissues more finely, cause less blood loss, and therefore allow a much faster recovery than previously.
The average length of stay for this operation here is now only 4 days.
Your surgeon would talk you through everything involved with the procedure, give you written information and you'd be offered more support also from our Cancer Nurse Specialist team and the Stoma therapy team.
Consultant Robotic Cystectomy Surgeons
Mr Edward Streeter
Mr Sashi Kommu
Consultant Clinical Oncologists
Dr Carys Thomas
Dr Albert Edwards
Dr Rakesh Raman
Dr Patryk Brulinski
Robot Assisted Radical Cystectomy Animation (Male)