This is a procedure used to diagnose bladder cancer and remove any unusual growths or tumours from the bladder wall. Bladder cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells that line your bladder wall. If the cancer is just in the lining and has not grown into the muscle of your bladder, it's called superficial or non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer can be treated by removing it from the bladder wall in a TURBT operation. There are no alternatives to TURBT. This procedure is the essential first step in diagnosing and treating bladder cancer. The operation can take between 15 and 40 minutes. At the end of the procedure, a catheter (a plastic tube that drains urine from the bladder) is placed and usually kept in place for about 24 hours. Whilst the catheter is in place, irrigating fluid can be instilled at the same time as the urine drains into a bag. The tissue removed in the procedure will be sent to a laboratory for testing. A TURBT procedure is occasionally followed by bladder treatment with Mitomycin C or Bacille Calmette Guérin (BCG) to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
Your catheter will be removed before you go home.
Any pain and discomfort in your bladder and urethra usually settles after a day or two. Blood in your urine may last up to two weeks. Taking URAL often helps.
Uncommon side effects may include a urinary tract or bladder infection. You may be given antibiotics to help prevent this but you should also drink enough fluids to help flush your bladder and reduce your risk of an infection. In the unlikely event that there is some damage to your urethra, bladder or bladder wall you may require further surgery. If the tumour isn't completely removed or it re-occurs you may need to have another TURBT operation.
It is critically important to avoid any activity that involves straining or exertion for at least four weeks. Such activities include heavy lifting (for example, grocery shopping, picking up children etc). During this time you should not mow the lawn or play any sports that may involve some exertion such as golf or tennis.
You may resume driving a motor vehicle after two weeks. You should initially commence this with small trips and you should avoid any long car trips for at least four weeks.
You should try to have plenty of fibre in your diet and should you experience any problems with constipation, it is critically important that you do not strain and if you require help, you should see your pharmacist or family doctor. You should avoid any sexual activity for the next four weeks.
There is no restriction on walking.
Dr Meyer will write to both you and your GP confirming your follow up arrangements after your TURBT. If you have any questions concerning your care after your surgery please contact Dr Meyer's rooms on 07 38834431 or 0488 378016.