Prior to Procedure
You may need to take antibiotics to prevent infection and laxatives to clean out your bowels.
The night before, you may be asked not to eat anything and to only drink clear liquids. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight or on the morning of the procedure. This includes avoiding clear liquids, coffee, tea, and water.
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
Description of Procedure
An incision will be made in the abdomen to expose the bladder. In a radical cystectomy, all blood vessels to the bladder will be cut. The bladder will then be removed along with nearby lymph nodes, part of the urethra, and nearby organs that may contain cancer cells. In men, the prostate and glands that help produce semen will also be removed. In women, the uterus, ovaries, and, sometimes, part of the vagina will be removed.
The doctor will also need to create a new way for urine to be passed out of the body. A new bladder may be built using pieces of intestine or an external bag may be attached to the abdomen.
In a partial cystectomy, only part of the bladder will be removed.
Either procedure can be done by laparoscopic or robotic-assisted laparoscopic techniques using a number of smaller incisions and a camera.
Kidneys, Ureters, and Bladder
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At the Hospital
- A stay in the intensive care unit may be needed.
- Be encouraged to walk with assistance soon after surgery
- During surgery, a tube will be placed from the nose to the stomach. It will stay there for several days. Because you cannot eat with the tube in place, you will receive IV fluids.
- If a urine bag was attached during the surgery, you will be taught how to dispose of urine.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
- Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incision
You may have to restrict some of your activities while you recover. This may take 4-6 weeks. Home care may include:
- Caring for your surgical wound and monitoring for signs of infection
- Exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation