Cystectomy is a surgery to remove the urinary bladder.
The procedure to remove the entire bladder is called a radical cystectomy. In men, this typically includes removal of the prostate and seminal vesicles. In women, radical cystectomy usually includes removal of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and part of the vagina.
After removing your bladder, your surgeon also needs to create a new way to store urine and have it leave your body. This is called urinary diversion. Your surgeon will discuss the options for urinary diversion that may be appropriate for you.
A radical cystectomy is performed to treat cancer that has invaded muscle tissue of the bladder or recurrent noninvasive bladder cancer. A partial cystectomy, although rarely performed, is used to remove a cancerous tumor in an isolated portion of the bladder. A simple cystectomy — removal of only the bladder — may be a treatment for noncancerous (benign) conditions.
Your health care provider may recommend cystectomy to treat:
Cystectomy is a complex surgery. It involves the manipulation of many internal organs in your abdomen. Because of this, cystectomy carries with it certain risks, including:
A cystectomy and urinary diversion are important life-extending treatments. But these surgeries do cause lifelong changes in both urinary and sexual function that can affect your quality of life. With time and support, you can learn to manage these transitions. Ask your health care team if there are community resources or support groups that may help you.