During a transurethral resection of a bladder tumor (TURBT) procedure, a urologic surgeon inserts a tool called a resectoscope through the urethra to reach the inside of your bladder. This tool has an electrified surgical loop which resects (cuts) the entire tumor from your bladder. TURBT is generally the first procedure done in order to help determine the grade and stage of bladder cancer.  It is often repeated for low grade and/or stage bladder cancers.

Before your Procedure

Typically, patients will be asked to stop blood thinners such as Coumadin, Eliquis or Lovenox ahead of the procedure.

If you take aspirin or ibuprofen or other OTC vitamins, you can usually continue them but please check with your provider or schedulers to confirm

You will have a urine analysis approximately 7-10 days prior to the procedure to ensure that no infection is present.

Description of Procedure

A TURBT is performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the surgeon introduces an instrument called a resectoscope into the bladder and removes the bladder tumor using an electrified loop. This action has the effect of removing the bladder tumor and cauterizing the base of the tumor at the same time. The procedure generally takes 15-30 minutes but can take much longer if the tumor is large. The fragments generated during the resection are then drained from the scope and sent to a pathologist to determine the stage and grade of the cancer.

You an expect to be in the surgery center for 2 hours. Most patients are discharged with a catheter which is removed the following morning following instillation of a chemotherapy drug (Mitomycin or Gemcitabine) which prevents tumor cells floating in the bladder to implant.

After your Procedure

What to Expect After your TURBT

  • You may experience a burning sensation with urination for 1-2 weeks
  • You may see blood in your urine on and off for several weeks
  • You may experience increased frequency of voiding for several days or find that you have to strain to empty your bladder
  • A follow up appointment will be scheduled the following day if your surgeon has ordered an instillation of chemotherapy (into the bladder)

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