Radical cystectomy

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Radical cystectomy


Radical cystectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the entire bladder and surrounding tissues that may contain cancer cells. 


In women, radical cystectomy usually involves the removal of the urinary bladder, the whole of the urethra, part of the vaginal wall, the ovaries, the womb and the lymph nodes – for some women, the vagina and reproductive organs can be spared. 


In men, it usually involves the removal of the urinary bladder, prostate and seminal vesicles as well as lymph glands that may harbour small deposits of cancer cells. Occasionally it may be necessary to remove the whole of the urethra (water pipe) as well.


The extent of surgery is tailored to individual patients, and procedures such as nerve-sparing to improve sexual function can be considered.


The pros of having surgery (a radical cystectomy) include:


  • Treatment is carried out in one go
  • You won’t need regular cystoscopies after treatment, although other less invasive tests may be needed