Going into bladder removal surgery requires full preparation beforehand. You will have to understand its impact on your life afterward. That way, you can set some realistic expectations.
Bladder removal surgery procedures and their recovery can be different for men and women.
Here, we will look closely at bladder removal surgery or cystectomy.
Reasons for bladder removal surgery
The most common treatment for bladder cancer is the surgical removal of the bladder. This procedure can also help treat other abnormal formations in the pelvis.
Bladder cancer that hasn’t progressed to an advanced stage may not require bladder removal. The doctor will use options other than bladder removal. However, bladder removal may become inevitable in case cancer has advanced. Removing the bladder in such circumstances can prevent cancer from spreading to other areas of the body.
A person going into bladder surgery should know their options well. Some specific surgical possibilities will depend on the following factors.
- Patient’s overall health
- Cancer stage
- Location of cancer
- The ability of cancer to recur
Procedure in men and women
The fundamental procedure of bladder removal is the same across men and women. However, they may have to get different organs removed due to their biological differences.
The two different surgical options for bladder removal surgery are the following.
- A partial cystectomy: This procedure is done to treat cancer that had remained limited to only one spot on the wall of the bladder and had not spread to the opening where urine leaves the body.
- A radical cystectomy: This more aggressive option involves the removal of the entire bladder, surrounding lymph nodes, and other organs.
A man having a radical cystectomy gets the following areas or parts removed.
- Part of the sperm duct or vas deferens
- Semen secreting glands
A woman having a radical cystectomy gets the following parts removed.
- Fallopian tubes
- Some parts of the vagina
Bladder removal surgery raises the need to create other means to allow urine evacuation from the body. There are two options to create those alternatives.
This urinary diversion allows a patient to have control over when to expel urine from the body. Two methods used to create continent diversions include Bladder substitution reservoir and Continent diversion reservoir with a stoma.
The Bladder substitution reservoir allows you to urinate through your urethra. After removing the bladder, the surgeon connects the ureters with the urethra, allowing you to urinate as you did before surgery.
The continent diversion reservoir with a stoma involves the removal of the urethra and placement of the reservoir near the abdominal wall. You will have to use a catheter to draw urine out of the body through a small hole called a stoma.
This urinary diversion involves the use of a small piece of the ileum as a conduit. The surgeon connects ureters to one end of the conduit and pulls the other end through a hole in the abdomen to create a stoma. The urine will pass into the conduit through ureters and leave the body through the stoma.
Quality of life after surgery
Most people wonder about the impact of bladder removal surgery on their lives. The decrease in quality of life may be inevitable for many people in the beginning. However, it doesn’t remain a problem once you get used to it.
There can be a lot of issues with urinary diversions, so it is best to discuss your particular case with a doctor. That will help you set some realistic expectations.