Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) is performed to help diagnose bladder cancer, as well as being a common part of bladder cancer treatment. TURBT is also the most common treatment for early-stage or superficial (non-muscle invasive) bladder cancers. Most patients have superficial cancer when they're first diagnosed, so this is usually their first treatment. Sometimes, a second, more extensive TURBT is done to better ensure that all the cancer has been removed. The procedure is done using a type of thin, rigid cystoscope called a resectoscope which will allow the surgeon to pass down instruments in order to remove the tumor in the bladder through the urethra.
The goal of TURBT is to remove cancer cells and nearby tissues down to the muscle layer of the bladder wall.
-The procedure can be done to both diagnose and/or stage bladder cancer and to remove cancerous tissue from the bladder. In the case of early-stage or non-muscle invasive cancer, the tumors can be removed from inside the bladder during the procedure.
-Complications are problems that can occur during or after treatment. The possible complications or risks of any operation include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic or developing a blood clot in your leg
Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) may be done with regional anesthesia, which numbs the lower part of the body, but does not put you to sleep, or general anesthesia. A cystoscope, which is a hollow tube with a lens, that is equipped with a resectoscope, an instrument with an electrically activated wire loop, is inserted through your urethra into your bladder. The doctor will first examine the bladder for signs of cancer. If tumors are found, the resectoscope will be used to remove a sample of tissue to be examined in the laboratory. The rest of cancer will either be removed by the resectoscope or burned away with laser equipment that can be introduced through the cystoscope.
Preparation for the procedure will depend on the type of anesthesia that is used. In many cases, you will need to undergo a health screening as well as blood tests, chest x-ray, and an electrocardiogram (EKG). Please let the doctor know about all medication that you are taking as some may need to be stopped before the procedure. You may need to avoid all food and water for six to eight hours before the procedure or as recommended by the doctor.
A catheter may be placed in your urethra after surgery to control bleeding and prevent blockage of the urethra, and it will be removed once bleeding has stopped. You may stay in the hospital for 1-4 days after the procedure. You may feel the urge to urinate frequently for a while and you may have some blood in your urine for 2-3 weeks after the procedure. You should be able to return to normal activities after a week or so, but avoid strenuous activity for at least 3 weeks after the procedure. Bladder cancer often recurs in other parts of the bladder so the doctor will monitor you regularly during follow-ups for signs and symptoms that your cancer may have recurred. The transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) may need to be repeated. In some cases, patients still need to undergo chemotherapy or immunotherapy after the surgery.
Bleeding. Bladder infection. Perforation of the wall of the bladder. Blood in the urine. Blockage of the urethra by blood clots in the bladder. Reaction to anesthesia.
What are the recommendations for travel for this procedure?
If you are taking any blood-thinning medication/anticoagulant, please let your doctor know as some may need to be stopped before you travel for the procedure. Travelers to Thailand should plan to stay in the country for at least two to five days after the procedure, depending on their condition after surgery, or for the entire duration of treatment. If you plan to return home after the procedure, please speak to your doctor before making travel arrangements. There are no restrictions for air travel. During your follow-up appointment your medical team will assess your health and your incision and you will receive documents detailing your medical and treatment history and your "Fit to Fly" certificate (if needed).
How effective is TURBT in removing bladder cancer?
TURBT is the most common and effective treatment for early-stage bladder cancer. It may also be effective for more advanced cancer if all the cancer is removed and biopsies show that no cancer cells remain.
Will I require any further treatment after this procedure for bladder cancer?
Some patients will have intravesical chemotherapy in which the chemotherapy drug is delivered directly into the bladder through the catheter. The chemotherapy fills the bladder and destroys any microscopic tumor cells not removed by the surgery. Some patients may also receive immunotherapy as part of the treatment process