What Is TURBT?
TURBT stands for transurethral resection of bladder tumor. It is a procedure used to both diagnose and treat bladder cancer at the same time. It is usually the first procedure used once bladder cancer has been detected. During this procedure, the surgeon will perform a biopsy and resection at the same time. A biopsy is when the surgeon takes a tissue sample of the cancerous growth, and resection refers to tumor removal.
Our urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta are expertly trained to diagnose and treat bladder cancer. If you have any questions about TURBT or any other issues related to bladder cancer, then make an appointment today.
How to Prepare for a TURBT?
There are a few things you can do to prepare before your surgical procedure:
- Stop eating and drinking the night before the surgery
- Inform your surgeon about any medications you are taking, especially blood thinners
- Take a bath or shower before the procedure
- Don’t use perfumes or lotions
- Dress comfortably
- Arrange for someone to drive you home
How Is TURBT Performed?
Your surgeon will follow these basic steps when performing TURBT:
- First, you will be administered general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia.
- Then, an instrument called a resectoscope will be inserted through the urethra into the bladder.
- Next, the surgeon removes the tumor with the resectoscope, which will then be sent to the lab.
- Afterward, a dye may be inserted to highlight any remaining cancerous cells, a process referred to as photodynamic diagnosis (PDD).
- Lastly, any remaining cancer cells are destroyed by burning them using an electrical current.
The surgeon may decide to insert chemotherapy medicine directly into the bladder after the procedure and recommend the maintenance of intravesical chemotherapy for a period of time. This would require follow-up appointments.
What Are the Risks of TURBT?
The TURBT procedure is very safe. There are, however, some risks associated with surgery. These include:
- Adverse reactions to anesthesia
- Excessive or prolonged bleeding
- Blood clots
- Perforation of the bladder
- Urinary tract infections
You should seek a doctor immediately if you have symptoms such as heavy bleeding, fever, or feeling cold and shivery.
How Long Is Recovery From TURBT?
A simple bladder tumor biopsy and removal is an outpatient procedure which means you can usually go home the same day.
After the procedure, you will be fitted with a catheter to drain urine from your bladder. You will likely see some blood in your urine at first. Drinking plenty of fluids will help flush out the blood and prevent infection. As soon as the blood is no longer visible or when you go home, the catheter is removed.
Following the TURBT procedure, you should be able to return to your normal activities within a few days.
What Is the Outlook After TURBT?
- A more extensive TURBT
- Surgery to remove the tumor
- Complete removal of the bladder
- BCG therapy
If you would like to speak to one of our expert urologists about bladder cancer, please make an appointment to speak to one of the urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta. We have offices throughout Metro Atlanta, including Stockbridge.