TURBT surgery for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer

Surgery in progress

Transurethral resection of a bladder tumour (TURBT)

This surgery is to remove the tumour or tumours from your bladder. You have a general anaesthetic or an anaesthetic injection into your lower back (spinal anaesthetic) so that you will not feel anything. If you have a spinal anaesthetic, you will be awake during the operation.

During the operation the surgeon will put a tube called a cystoscope into your bladder through your water pipe (urethra). Special instruments are put through the cystoscope to cut or burn off the tumour. The surgeon may use a mild electrical current to seal the wound and stop any bleeding (cauterisation).

After the procedure, the tumour is sent to the laboratory. Here it will be looked at in great detail, and your doctor will use this information to find out more about the tumour's stage and grade.

Possible risks of surgery

Removing a superficial bladder tumour is generally a safe procedure. But, as with any operation, there are some risks. For example, a urinary infection. If you feel cold, shivery, hot or sweaty, feel generally unwell, or your urine is smelly or cloudy, please contact your doctor.

Drug treatment after surgery

After surgery, your doctor may decide to give you chemotherapy or other drugs into your bladder to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. Read more about drug treatment after surgery.

TURBT video

Cancer Research UK has a helpful video on this.

Will I need more treatment?

Superficial bladder tumours can come back after treatment. For this reason, your doctor may decide you need further surgery. You may have regular check-ups for some years.

For more information

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1800 200 700

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