TURBT (TransUrethral Resection of a Bladder Tumor) is a procedure used to diagnose and treat visible bladder tumors.

Your surgeon will use special instruments attached to a cystoscope to cut (resect) the tumor and remove it. Typically, this is performed with an electrical cautery device and less frequently, a laser.

This procedure is done in the operating room and most patients can go home the same day. However, some patients may have to stay in the hospital overnight because of a medical condition or the extent of the tumor resection.

Preparing for Your TURBT

You will need a pre-anesthesia clearance before your surgery to clear you for anesthesia. This is typically done by your primary care physician and sometimes by a cardiologist, if needed.
We will need a urine culture prior to the surgery to prevent infection following the procedure.
Stop ALL over the counter medications including vitamins, supplements and herbal remedies 7 days prior to the procedure.

Stop the following medications as directed:

  • Aspirin – 7 days prior to the procedure
  • Plavix (clopidogrel) – 7 days prior to the procedure
  • Coumadin (warfarin) – 5 days prior to the procedure
  • Pradaxa (dabigatran) – 4 days prior to procedure
  • Eliquis (apixaban) – 5 days prior to procedure
  • Xarelto (rivaroxaban) – 3 days prior to procedure
  • NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, ketorolac) – 5 days prior

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before (unless otherwise instructed during your pre-operative visit)

What to Expect

The TURBT procedure usually takes no longer than 1 hour. You will be put under anesthesia before the surgery. This means you will be deeply asleep and will not feel anything during the procedure.

Your doctor will enter a resectoscope through your urethra into the bladder. At the end of the scope there is a small, electrified loop of wire which is moved back and forth through the tumor to cut and remove the tissue. This electricity is also used to seal off bleeding vessels and control bleeding. Your surgeon will not make any cuts (incisions) on the outside of your body.

Once the procedure is completed, you will be brought to the PACU (Post-Anesthesia Care Unit) to allow the anesthetic to wear off. You will be encouraged to drink plenty of water to flush out your bladder.

After Your TURBT

Bleeding is very common and expected after the procedure. Do not be alarmed if the blood turns your urine bright red.

Plan to rest for a few days after your TURBT.

You may have a catheter left in your bladder after the procedure to allow your bladder to empty and heal. This may need to be kept in for several days if bleeding continues. If you are sent home with a catheter, make sure you understand how to use it and when it should be removed.

Pathology Results

You will receive your pathology results, typically within 1-2 weeks.

The pathology results will inform us of how aggressive (grade) and the depth of invasion into the bladder wall (stage), if any. Your surgeon will discuss these results with you.


These symptoms are normal after your procedure:

  • Leakage
  • Painful, burning urination
  • Bladder irritation
  • Frequent urination
  • Bladder spasms
  • Blood in the urine and blood clots can continue for a few weeks, often intermittently

These symptoms are abnormal—please contact our office if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Inability to pass urine
  • Large blood clots in your urine (the size of a quarter or larger)
  • Fever above 101° F and/or chills
  • Nausea and vomiting

How can we help you?