What are the different types of bladder surgeries?


Bladder surgery is often done on patients suffering from bladder cancer or incontinence. People suffering from bladder cancer might have difficulty with passing urine due to a tumor growth on the urethra. Pressure created by the tumor on the urethra can prevent urine from flowing out. In such cases bladder surgery has to be performed.  


What are the different types of surgeries for bladder cancer?

There are 8 types of surgeries that can help  people suffering from bladder disorders:

  • Retropubic suspension: In some cases of urinary incontinence due to the sagging of bladder and urethra into the pelvic area. Surgery has to be done to return them back to their original position. An incision in the abdominal area is made and the bladder is lifted up from above the urethra and a catheter placed in through the bladder and urethra to drain the urine.
  • Urethral sling procedure : It's a 15 minute procedure and as the name suggests, a mesh like tape is inserted by making an incision  of about 1/2 inch under the urethra and the sling is placed around the urethra and this is pulled up and tied to the walls of the abdomen. The plastic sling  degrades over a period of time and absorbed by the body. The sling helps in bringing back the urethra to its original position and also helps in putting pressure to avoid accidental leaks. This procedure is done on women. It helps in severe cases of urinary continence. Care should be taken not to exert oneself physically during the recovery period.

    • Exercise, intercourse  should not be done for at least 4 weeks. 
    • Saunas and pools should be avoided while recovering at least for 2- 3 weeks.
    • Sometimes the sling could irritate the vagina and cause sexual dysfunction.
  • Removing bladder stones :  Bladder stones are formed by collection of small minerals in the urinary bladder. They can stop urine from flowing if bigger in size. The smaller stones will pass through. Before resorting to surgery, doctors try to break up the bladder stones by using ultrasonic waves or electro hydraulic sparks. This is done by inserting a cystoscope through which the stones can be viewed and broken down to smaller pieces as well. But if this doesn't help in removing the stones completely and the stone is too big, surgery is done to remove the stones.
  • Artificial urinary sphincter : Some have the problem of urine leakage due to weakening of the sphincter muscles. An artificial sphincter is placed to help this problem. It has three parts, a cuff, a balloon and a control pump. The cuff is inflatable and holds back the urine. The balloon controls the pressure applied at the cuff . The control pump inflates and deflates thus helping in regulating the pressure applied by the cuff. The device is inserted in scrotum for men and lower belly for woman.
  • Transurethral resection: Transurethral resection (TUR) is one of the bladder surgeries and severity will be less for this surgery. Cancer tissues which cause cancer are removed from the bladder. A Cystoscope is inserted into the bladder which consists of camera. By using the cystoscope instrument the cancer causing tissues are removed from the bladder.
  • Cystectomy: Cystectomy is the more severe surgical procedure and is preferred by some doctors over TUR for treating early stage bladder cancer. In TUR there is no cut made for the abdomen but where as in the Cystectomy a cut is made in the abdomen. Depending upon the stage of the cancer the bladder is removed completely or partially. Partial Cystectomy tells us partial removal of bladder. Total Cystectomy refers to total removal of bladder.
  • Bladder restoration: Bladder restoration is done to a patient with a damaged or missing bladder. Some amount of small intestine is placed on to the kidneys to pass the urine away from the body. The small intestine ends up with a hole where passes into a bag.
  • Bladder augmentation: Bladder augmentation increases the bladder size to hold more volume of urine.