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Robotic-assisted radical cystectomy is the surgical removal of the entire bladder and possibly the removal of surrounding organs that may have cancer cells. If the bladder is removed, the surgeon creates a new way or path for urine to be stored and to leave the body.
Radical cystectomy is commonly performed to treat bladder cancer where it has invaded the bladder wall. Radical cystectomy is performed by either conventional open surgery or using the robot. Open surgery requires a bigger incision. Robotic-assisted radical cystectomy is an alternative for the conventional open surgery.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy refers to chemotherapy that is given before surgery. The rationale behind neoadjuvant therapy for bladder cancer is twofold. First, pre-operative treatment can shrink some bladder cancers and therefore, may allow more complete surgical removal of the cancer. Second, because chemotherapy kills undetectable cancer cells in the body, it may help prevent the spread of cancer when used initially rather than waiting for patient recovery following the surgical procedure. Your treatment team will decide if you need chemotherapy treatment before surgery.
If you are planning to have a robotic-assisted radical cystectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Complications that may happen during the surgery:
Complications that may happen after the surgery:
Talk to your doctor about your medication. You may need to stop taking certain medication for one week before surgery, such as:
Your doctor may also ask you to:
General anesthesia will be given. You will be asleep during the procedure.
During a robotic-assisted radical cystectomy, the patient’s abdomen is inflated with gas and the robot’s camera and operating arms are inserted through six quarter-inch incisions in the abdomen. The robot is then attached to these instruments. The surgeon operates the robot while sitting in a console a few feet from the actual robot and the patient. The surgeon uses the robotic instruments to remove the bladder and surrounding organs. The pelvic lymph nodes are then removed as part of the surgery.
After removing the bladder, the next step is diverting the urine in a way that allows it to be expelled outside the patient’s body. There are two types of urinary diversion that are commonly used:
The actual surgery usually takes 4 to 5 hours.
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. You will be given medication for any pain during recovery. Pain levels vary from patient to patient.
You will be monitored in the intensive care unit for the first night, where you will have the following interventions:
The average stay is 5 to 7 days.
At the Hospital
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Every patient’s recovery can be different. You will need to shower, daily, with a mild soap. Ask your doctor when it is safe to take a bath or soak in water. You may find that there will be some areas of discomfort in the area of surgery that can last for several weeks. Also, it is common that you may feel tired for many weeks following this type of surgery. If you have a stoma, you’ll be seen by the stoma therapist and taught how to take care of your stoma.
If you do not have chemotherapy treatment before bladder cancer surgery based on the extent of the disease and your general condition, your treatment team will help you decide if additional treatment is needed. Additional treatment for bladder cancer is usually given four weeks to eight weeks after surgery to allow time for recovery of the tissues.
Depending on the stage of the disease you will need to see your urologist and medical oncologist every three to six months for the first two years after surgery. This type of follow-up care will help in managing any post-surgical issues and possible disease recurrence.
Bladder cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the bladder. Read more about bladder cancer...
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We provide patients with a multitude of services and high quality care for the management and treatment of bladder cancer. Read more about our services...
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